E.L. Doctorow: "Andrew's Brain"

E.L. Doctorow: "Andrew's Brain"

In his latest novel, the celebrated author takes us into the mind of a man who has inadvertently caused great harm to people he loves. An exploration of memory versus imagination and what defines consciousness.

E.L. Doctorow's writing career has spanned more than 50 years. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the National Book Foundation's medal for "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters." His work includes "Ragtime," "The Book of Daniel," "Billy Bathgate" and "The March." Doctorow's 12th novel, "Andrew's Brain," has just come out. In it he takes us on a journey into the mind of a man who seems to leave destruction and tragedy in his wake at every turn. It's an exploration of memory versus imagination and the inner workings of the mind. Diane talks with E.L. Doctorow about his latest novel.

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E.L. Doctorow

novelist; his many honors include a National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Humanities Medal.

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E.L. Doctorow talks about what the publishing climate was like around the time that Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" came out. The book coincided with the release of Doctorow's novel, "Billy's Bathgate." The two authors shared a French publisher and Doctorow recalls bookstores were practically empty. "While I was determined to back Salman and speak out against what was happening to him, I was really angry at him for ruining the possible sales of my novel."

The celebrated author says he'll often "write to find out what" he's writing about when an inchoate book idea calls to him. He alternates between a retreat in Sag Harbor, N.Y., and a busier city life in New York City. He says Sag Harbor is very quiet and "if you don't write, you go mad."

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from ANDREW’S BRAIN by E.L. Doctorow. Copyright © 2014 by E.L Doctorow. Excerpted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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