Thomas Steinbeck began his career in the 1960s as a combat photographer in Vietnam. Known best for his short stories, his collection Down to the Soundless Sea won critical praise. Along with his writing and producing obligations, Steinbeck was in demand as a public speaker for hislectures on American literature, creative writing, and the communication arts. He lived in California with his wife Gail until his death aged 72 in August 2016.
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An Interview with Thomas Steinbeck
An aura of performance, as suggested by the authors note, permeates
Down to a Soundless Sea. As a devout raconteur, do you see these stories as
attempts to translate the experience of storytelling? Does the act of fixing
them on the page complicate or simplify the stories?
In my humble opinion, all storytelling, and in turn writing, by virtue of its human origin, entails profound elements of performance. Authors either perform on their own account, such as historians, journalists, and essayists; or, like novelists and playwrights, they fashion characters to perform specific roles at the authors behest. One way or the other, the puppeteer remains the same. It is specifically because Im a carrier of raconteurs disease, in its most virulent form, that I have come to realize that one can never really cross-pollinate the act of live storytelling with its literary reflection. But I can think of any number of great authors who have come within a hairsbreadth of convincing me they could.
Ive never known a story, whether true or false, to remain fixed to any page for long. If it has legs at all, it will self-propagate through numerous generations and ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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