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Charles BaxterDescribe your latest project.
The Soul Thief is the story of one person taking over the identity of another. It is also a love story with some mayhem in the background. The novel begins in the old, industrial America (Buffalo, New York), where things were once manufactured, and ends in Los Angeles, where imagery and only imagery is the central product. In this book of identity theft, no one is quite the person he (or she) seems to be, places are slightly hallucinatory, and love, in its truest form, tries to escape from sentimentality into truth.
Even though she's married to Levin in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, I'd still like to date Kitty. She's warm and sensual and intelligent. I'd also like to date Natasha in War and Peace, just so I could meet her in person and see her face.
Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good book with which to start.
Writers are better liars than other people: true or false? Why, or not?
Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage?
What is your idea of absolute happiness?
What is your favorite indulgence, either wicked or benign?
Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
One of the ways I relax is by listening to music, and I like to read about music, too. Music is notoriously difficult to write about, of course, but some of the best books about music and musicians are fascinating, because musicians tend to have nervous temperaments and interesting personalities.
The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross
The State of Music by Virgil Thomson
A Working Friendship, the letters of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal
For the Love of Music by Michael Steinberg and Larry Rothe
Stravinsky by Stephen Walsh
Europe Central by William Vollmann
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Charles Baxter is the author of eight previous works of fiction, including Saul and Patsy, The Feast of Love (nominated for the National Book Award), Through the Safety Net, and Believers. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.