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Don Swaim Interviews

Audio Interview with John C. Gardner

This John Gardner is not to be confused with the British John Gardner, who is the acclaimed "other author" of the James Bond series. The American writer, John Gardner, was a poet, novelist, playwright, and teacher who is perhaps best known for writing about writing. Gardner's nonfiction includes The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers, On Becoming a Novelist and On Moral Fiction. Writers Raymond Carver and Charles Johnson studied in Gardner's classroom.

Gardner's fiction includes The Art of Living, Grendel, Nickel Mountain, The Resurrection and The Sunlight Dialogues. He won the 1976 National Book Critics Circle Award for his novel, October Light. In this 1981 interview with Don Swaim and Gil Gross, Gardner discusses his own writing, and a few of the strengths and weaknesses of writers Jane Austen, Saul Bellow, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolsoy, John Updike and others. Gardner explains why he prefers the Lone Star Review to the New York Times for book reviews, why some writers use alcohol to "find things" and why writers need to take a stand.

Listen to the John Gardner interview with Don Swaim and Gil Gross, May 21, 1981
(25 min. 54 sec.)

MP3 File

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Facsimile of John Gardner's business card, circa 1970

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For many years most of the best writers of the English language found their way to Don Swaim's CBS Radio studio in New York. Wired for Books is proud to webcast these interviews in RealAudio.

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