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" Each book requires a different kind of treatment and structural gambit. "
" Part of any book is establishing the rules at the end of the world. My first book, 'The Intuitionist,' takes place in an alternative world where elevator inspectors are important, so you have to establish rules, and part of that is, How do people talk? How do they behave? "
" I was always into comic books and horror stories and a huge consumer of pop culture. And then I worked for awhile for 'The Village Voice'. "
" For me, the terror of the zombie is that at any moment, your friend, your family, you neighbor, your teacher, the guy at the bodega down the street, can be revealed as the monster they've always been. "
" Some people don't like my fiction, because they prefer the nonfiction. But moving around keeps the work fresh for me and, hopefully, for my one or two readers who follow me from book to book! "
" I love getting out of the Q train at Union Square. It's such a mix of people, like a party. There's always an errand you can do along there, whether it's picking up contacts or buying poker chips. "
" It's always hard to write and get your words out there, to find an editor, a publisher - readers! - who are going to appreciate them. "
" I enjoy thinking about how race plays out over the centuries, how technology evolves, how cities transform themselves. These subjects are present in some of my books and absent in others. "
" There's always an attack on the sophomore novel from some quarters. "
" I'm of that subset of native New Yorkers who can't drive. "
" In 'John Henry Days,' I was taking my idea of junketeering and sort of blowing it up to absurd extremes. "
" I am not sure the issue of race in America will ever be completely solved. "
" If you write about race in 1850, you end up talking about race today because in many ways, so little has changed. "
" I wanted to be one of these multidisciplinary critics who is doing music one day, TV the next, and books the next. "
" 'Zone One' comes out of me trying to work through some of my ideas about why, for me personally, zombies are scary. "
" Once I got to college, it seemed that the Hamptons were a little bit too posh for me and didn't represent the kind of values I was embracing in my late teens. So, I didn't go out there, except to visit my parents, for a long time. And then, after 9/11, I discovered it was a nice, mellow place to hang out. "
" I didn't know I was a zombie pedant until I started considering what from the zombie canon to keep in 'Zone One' and what to ignore. "
" I try to keep each different book different from the last. So 'Sag Harbor' is very different from 'Apex Hides the Hurt;' 'The Intuitionist,' which is kind of a detective novel, is very different from 'John Henry Days.' I'm just trying to keep things rich for me creatively and for the readers who follow me. "
" I was sort of a miserable teenager. "
" The Declaration of Independence is that sacred American text so full of meaning and purpose and yet quite empty if you examine it and pull it apart because the words 'All Men' exclude a vast number of citizens. "
" Slavery was a violent, brutal, immoral system, and in accurately depicting how it worked, you have to include that, obviously. Or else you are lying. "
" Having a wife and kids drove home the brutal reality of the slave system for me - the price it exacted on families. On the other hand, whenever I despair over our history, I am brought back to hope, the hope that things will get better, for my children. "
" I think a joke is a form of truth-telling. A good joke that's absurd contains elements of our daily darkness and also a possibility to escape that darkness. So, for me, humor is an attempt to capture everyday tragedy and everyday hopeful moments that we experience all of the time. "
" The contemporary casino is more than a gambling destination: it is a multifarious pleasure enclosure intended to satisfy every member of the family unit. "
" I admire Vegas's purity, its entirely wholesome artificiality. "
" I was allowed to write about race using an elevator metaphor because of Toni Morrison and David Bradley and Ralph Ellison. Hopefully, me being weird allows someone who's 16 and wanting to write inspires them to have their own weird take on the world, and they can see the different kinds of African American voices being published. "
" The readership for 'Sag Harbor' was different from people who'd read me before - it was linear and realistic, not as strange as 'The Intuitionist.' Did they carry over to 'Zone One,' a story about zombies in New York? Some, some not. I'm used to people not caring about my other books. "
" If self-absorption, vague yearnings, and a nagging sense of incompleteness are sins, then surely I will burn for all eternity, and I will save you a seat. "
" I'm not a teacher; I'm not a historian. I'm trying to create a world for my characters. "
" I use New York to talk about home, but the ideas in 'Colossus' could be transferred to other cities. The story about Central Park is really about the first day of spring in any park. The Coney Island chapter is really about beaches and summer and heat waves. "
" I'm raising kids, and so much of American culture sustains me and gives me things to think about and work on. "