Dufresne, who is celebrating his 63rd birthday today, is a professor of creative writing at Florida International University in Miami. He is the author of two books on the process of fiction, two short story collections and several novels, including Louisiana Power and Light and Love Warps the Mind a Little, each honored as a New York Times Notable Book, and Requiem, Mass., the 2009 Florida Book Award Gold Medal winner. We caught up with the writer during his stint as a featured instructor at Eckerd College's Writers in Paradise this month.
What's on your nightstand?
Selected Stories by William Trevor. He's just about my favorite writer. I've also got Alice Munro's The View From Castle Rock. And I'm reading two nonfiction books, Bill Bryson's At Home: A Short History of Private Life and The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains (by Nicholas Carr). The second one is about how the Internet is changing the way we think. We're spending so much time surfing that we are not thinking deep, and our brain is getting rewired.
Can you recommend a book that would make us slow down for a good, long read?
The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor. It's a story that is tragic, but Trevor is someone who can get a reader lost in a book. When you read Trevor's short stories, you get hit with a harder punch, and you need time to almost recover, but in his books, it's like falling into a dream. There's also another book that I read, and I didn't get off the couch until it was done, To the Wedding by John Berger. It was stunning.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer