What makes a novel “good”? Tom Wolfe once gave this answer:
“To me, it’s a novel that pulls you inside the central nervous system of the characters … and makes you feel in your bones their motivations as affected by the society of which they are a part. It is folly to believe that you can bring the psychology of an individual to light without putting him very firmly in a social setting.”
Tom Wolfe, author of The Bonfire of the Vanities and other novels, in an interview with George Plimpton in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews: Ninth Series (Viking 1992). Edited by George Plimpton. Introduction by William Styron. Reprinted from the Spring 1991 issue of the Paris Review. You can read more from this and other interviews in this acclaimed series at www.parisreview.com.
© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.