Literary Hub

Greg Iles: In Praise of Larry McMurtry (Postmodernists, Not So Much)

Gre Iles most recent book, Mississippi Blood, concludes his Natchez Burning trilogy.

What was the first book you fell in love with?
Arty the Smarty by Faith McNulty. I was three or four years old when I read that, and it shaped me as a writer. It’s about a smart fish who thinks up myriad ways to avoid being hooked and to make a fool of the fisherman while the other fish he knows get caught.

Name a classic you feel guilty about never having read?
I’ve hardly read any postmodernists. As my friend Scott Turow says, they cost literature its audience. So maybe I don’t feel guilty about ignoring them.

What’s the book you reread the most?
The Honorable Schoolboy by John Le Carré. I think it’s the most underrated of the George Smiley books. Though it’s a British novel, it captures something of the moment when American power, and America’s image of itself on the world stage, began to go into decline. The personal story in it is Le Carré channeling Graham Greene.

Is there a book you wish you had written?
I wish I had written Lonesome Dove. It’s a tour de force of narrative and dialogue and insight into human nature, and had I written that, I would be a far greater writer than I currently am!

Originally published in Literary Hub.

Related Interests

More from Literary Hub

Literary Hub10 min read
Lisa Lucas Talks Robert Caro and the Injustices of NYC Urban Planning
Will Schwalbe: Hi. I’m Will Schwalbe, and you’re listening to But That’s Another Story. One of my favorite ways to learn history is by reading biographies. As a kid growing up near Boston, I fell in love with Esther Forbes’ magnificent Paul Revere an
Literary Hub5 min readSociety
The Ongoing Exile of the Undocumented
What’s striking about Aaron Bobrow-Strain’s exhaustively researched and well-told story of Aida Hernandez—a young Mexican American woman who was swallowed up by the machinations of what passes for immigration policy in our country, only to escape fro
Literary Hub4 min read
Lit Hub Weekly: May 13 – 17, 2019
TODAY: In 1953, James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On the Mountain is published.   “Could it be that  masculinity itself is a violent ideology  ?”   Lacy     Johnson   on Rachel Louise Snyder and the names we give to violence. | Lit Hub  On discovering an