The Salon Interview

“The Astonishing Power of Richard Powers: How a conversation with the legendary writer inspired me to reconsider technology, culture, family, everything,” by Andrew Leonard, Salon, February 9, 2014.  Andrew Leonard’s father, the late John Leonard, wrote “The Novels of Richard Powers,” an essay that can be found in the book Lonesome Rangers: Homeless Minds, Promised Lands, Fugitive Cultures (The New Press, 2002).  Andrew Leonard writes in his Salon piece:

I’ve spent my writer’s life riffing; they have constructed symphonies, complex structures designed not just to last, but to recapitulate and elucidate all the torment and brilliance of the cultures that surround them, all the “heft and weight and bruise of the world,” as Powers later puts it.

Such has been true of all of Powers’ great works, … It is certainly true of “Orfeo,” a novel that plunges into typically deep waters: life after 9/11, technology’s restless reshaping of culture, the metastasizing surveillance state, and most of all, the history, meaning and direction of music. Powers doesn’t write ditties. … Powers hunts big game.

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