Thomas Christopher Greene
In the acknowledgments of The Headmaster's Wife, Greene shares that he began writing the novel while sitting with his second daughter, Jane, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The baby was born prematurely and died at 6 months of age. "And what began as one novel eventually became a very different one, a novel of grief and one that I dedicate to her,'' he writes. Greene, 45, is the founding president of the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
What is on your nightstand?
I have a stack of ten New Yorkers, and I'm trying to keep up. I also have The Goldfinch (by Donna Tartt) and Cod by Mark Kurlansky, which is a whole history of the fish.
I've got The Goldfinch ready to go on my nightstand, too. How did you like it?
I just love her patience and her ability to tell a story in long form that really retains the reader's attention. . . . I think the last 12 pages of that book might be the greatest prose I've ever read.
I'd be remiss if I didn't ask about the value of holding an MFA in creative writing as people become increasingly Internet-crazed.
I think the most important skill set in our world right now is the ability to communicate. The ability to write separates people when it comes to employment. When you can be persuasive, which is what you do when you write, be it fiction or a business letter, that skill is valued and it is a skill set that is unique.
Piper Castillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4163.