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Anita Shreve

Shreve is the author of 15 novels, including The Pilot's Wife, The Weight of Water and Body Surfing. Her writing career has also included several years working as a journalist in South Africa. Shreve returns to that country for the setting of her most recent novel, A Change in Attitude, which was released in paperback in May. We spoke to the author, via phone, as she took a minivacation on an island off the coast of Maine. We talked about books, summertime and World Cup soccer.

What's on your nightstand?

I'm reading Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. It's absolutely fabulous. It won't be released until November, but I was able to receive a galley from my publisher.

Does it get racy?

It's Cleopatra. It's bound to get racy, and the author alludes to that in the introduction.

Will you recommend it?

Yes, it's very sharp and clear, and there's a sense of wit about it.

I imagine you've been very involved watching the World Cup from South Africa.

Yes. I was over there in September, and I'm very happy for the people of South Africa. And I tell you, there's a certain intensity with the fans in that country for their soccer. I haven't seen it before. Well, actually, that's not true. There's an extremely unique intensity with Boston Red Sox fans, too.