Tropper's novels include This Is Where I Leave You (just released in paperback), How to Talk to a Widower, Everything Changes, The Book of Joe and Plan B. He lives with his family in Westchester, N.Y., and he teaches writing at Manhattanville College. He is currently adapting a novel by comedian Steve Martin, The Pleasure of My Company, into a feature film for 20th Century Fox.
What is on your nightstand?
I've got a book by Philip Roth, and on deck is Richard Russo's That Old Cape Magic. I think Richard Russo is the ultimate storyteller.
Why do you think that is?
It's because of the way he creates characters. The way he can create an entire community. There's a simple perfection to it. He could tell something really narrow like he does in this one, or he can write larger, like with Empire Falls, and it's the same, you can't stop reading him. Every paragraph and every character is new and fascinating.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer