RS: You're one of the few writers who is both incredibly skilled at writing novels (such as THE UNKNOWNS) while also being quite good at Twiiter.com. How do you lead such a full life?
GR: Nice of you to say, although I caught the touch of irony in “full life.” Writing a novel and writing for Twitter are pretty similar, actually: they’re both long forms that you write in small increments, they both involve taking material from life and filtering it through a character, and they both require you to have some idea of a reader in mind.
The New York Times’ Janet Maslin called THE UNKNOWNS a “sparkling debut” and a “remarkably funny, tender book.” Do you remember what you were doing when you read that review for the first time?
The review ran on a Thursday, so it went up on the website on Wednesday a little after four. I had been told that a review might run that week, so I had spent the previous three afternoons frantically refreshing nytimes.com/books in my browser. It was three very anxious days and then a good day. My wife was out of town so I called her right away and sort of paced around the room shouting and gesticulating.
What can people expect from your reading on Saturday?
An extremely sensual excerpt from my second-novel-in-progress, entitled Jazz Hands.