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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007 9:19 am
It Pairs Nicely with a Sack of Ashes
Posted by: Keir Graff

And speaking of Oprah, I just watched her interview of Cormac McCarthy on the TV in Miriam’s, the ALA staff lounge. McCarthy breaks his interview silence for this? Despite a couple of nods to The Road‘s portentious tone and apocalyptic theme, Oprah concentrated on more predictable fare: the author’s poverty-stricken early years. Was it true he’d once been thrown out of a 40-dollar-a-month hotel? Was it true that he once was so poor he couldn’t afford a tube of toothpaste? (And my favorite question: he still doesn’t understand women even after being married three times?)

McCarthy gamely (at least, it looked like the McCarthy version of “gamely”: leaning as far away as possible from the lights and cameras but at least smiling) played along, even stating that his life’s goal had not necessarily been to become one of the world’s greatest writers but to avoid having a 9 to 5 job.

And while I was genuinely intrigued to learn that the 73-year-old McCarthy has an 8-year-old son who provided the inspiration for his latest novel, I wanted to crawl under the table when Oprah, inspired, found the perfect peg to hang her interview segment on: The Road, she said, is the “perfect father’s day gift.”

You’ll be able to watch the interview on the Oprah site after 4 p.m. ET.

If McCarthy wanted to break his interview silence, couldn’t he have talked with Charlie Rose? Jon Stewart? Donna Seaman?

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