Crow's memoir, Eyes Right: Confessions From a Woman Marine, shares the story of how as a young woman from Appalachian Virginia, Crow rose to become a military journalist and decorated Marine Corps officer. Currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Eckerd College, Crow also has written under the pen name Carver Greene, publishing the conspiracy thriller An Unlawful Order, the first in a series featuring a female military protagonist. She will be one of the featured authors at this year's Times Festival of Reading on Oct. 20.
What's on your nightstand?
I'm just about reading all the time. I'm halfway through Tracey Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains. I had used his Strength in What Remains in one of my classes at Eckerd, and I love to read authors' work like this, back to back.
Can you talk about differences in the two books?
In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Kidder plays more of a central role in the book. He's much more present. His reactions are much more present. It's also told in a much more literary voice.
What else is on your nightstand?
What I'm spending most of my reading time on is an avalanche of submissions for a military anthology I'm doing for University of Nebraska Press. These are all true stories told in the voices of active duty soldiers as well as veterans, spouses of soldiers and even children deeply affected by parents. The quality of work I'm getting is overwhelming. It's going to be hard to choose just 24. Also, I recently read Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex. It is probably the book that I've read that has most excited me lately.
What author inspired you when you were a young adult to begin writing?
Toni Morrison. I read her books and I wonder why I even bother to try to craft another sentence.
What's your favorite?
Sula. You talk about musicality. It is such a beautiful book.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer, is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.