Which writers — novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets — working today do you admire most?
The last really well-written book I’ve read was “Empire of the Summer Moon,” by Sam Gwynne. Michael Lewis is also an extraordinarily good writer. Whatever the genre, I look for someone who is precise and economical in their style and hard-working in their prose. By that I mean they take the time to choose words that surprise me; they use metaphors that I’ve never heard before; and they avoid clichés like “The mortars slammed into the hillside.” I don’t want to read anything — not even a clause — that I’ve seen before. It’s just a waste of everyone’s time.