Joyce Carol Oates: By the Book – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/books/review/joyce-carol-oates-by-the-book.html

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What book had the greatest impact on you? What book made you want to write?

Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass,” which my grandmother gave me when I was 9 years old and very impressionable. These were surely the books that inspired me to write, and Alice is the protagonist with whom I’ve most identified over the years. Her motto is, like my own, “Curiouser and curiouser!”

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Our great American tragic-epic, Melville’s “Moby-Dick.” This truly contains multitudes of meanings: the Pequod is the ship of state, the radiantly mad Captain Ahab a dangerous “leader,” the ethnically diverse crew our American citizenry. And to balance this all-male adventure, “The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson.”

What are your reading habits? Paper or electronic? Do you take notes?

Obviously I prefer “paper” books — they are aesthetic objects, usually quite distinct from one another with striking covers and page designs, while electronic books are more or less interchangeable, their 

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