I think that most writers looking back at their books often feel a sense of contingency. Once you have finished a book, you usually feel that thatâ€™s the way it had to be. While you are writing it, it doesnâ€™t feel that way. The formal properties of the work often seem to be variable and fluid, to use that word again. And if I had outlined the novel before I began writing it, it might very well have taken a different form.
The author also reveals that he has an essay forthcoming in The Believer:
RB: In the November issue?
CB: I think so. Iâ€™ve written an essay about how most writers now donâ€™t describe faces anymore, either as an index to character in the way the 19th-century novelists tended to do, or as a dramatic inflexion. You are more likely to get descriptions of clothes or body language than you are of faces. I just wanted to ask myself why.
On this page, in an older interview, Baxter talks about his short story, “Gryphon.” At the bottom of the page is a link to an audio reading from the story.
An excerpt of Baxter’s The Feast of Love is available at Random House.