How to pronounce Ann Napolitano: na-poll-ih-TAH-no (first syllable like 'ap' in apple)
Ann Napolitano is the author of the novels A Good Hard Look and Within Arm's Reach. She received an MFA from New York University; she teaches fiction writing for New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies and for Gotham Writers' Workshop. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
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In two interviews, one video and one text, Ann Napolitano discusses her book A Good Hard Look, set in Milledgeville, Georgia, home of celebrated author Flannery O'Connor.
In the video below, author Ann Napolitano discusses her book A Good Hard Look
A Conversation with Ann Napolitano
What drew you to write a novel centered around Flannery O'Connor? What were the most interesting challenges/pleasures in writing about such an extraordinary literary figure? How much research did you do for the novel?
When I started A Good Hard Look, I had no idea Flannery O'Connor would come anywhere near the novel. If you'd told me she would be one of the characters, I would have said you were crazy. I had no aspiration to write historical fiction and I hadn't read any of Flannery's work in about a decade.
Initially, the book was about a character called Melvin Whiteson who lived in New York City in the present day. I had the idea of this very wealthy man who'd been given every opportunity, but didn't know what to do with those opportunities. I was interested in the question of how people choose to live their lives. The novel wasn't working though; I think Melvin was more of an idea than a character. ...
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