John Berendt, author of the bestsellers Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and The City of Falling Angels, told us about his former life in the fast-paced magazine world, which he likened to "standing in a stream trying to catch fish with your bare hands." He recalls, "I began to realize I wasn't getting very deeply into anything I was writing about. In order to get deeply -- to wallow -- in a topic, I knew I'd have to write a book."
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New York, New York
Date of Birth:
December 5, 1939
Place of Birth:
Syracuse, New York
A.B. Harvard College, 1961
Southern Book Award for General Nonfiction, 1994; Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, 1995
|Berendt's Latest Bestseller|
|The City of Falling Angels|
Berendt follows up his blockbuster bestseller, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, after more than a decade to give us an intimate look at the "magic, mystery, and decadence" of the city of Venice and its inhabitants.
Read an excerpt
|A Writer's Ritual|
|"When I'm writing, I like to gain distance from my work so I can tell how it will strike a reader who is seeing it for the first time. I do this through a trick I devised while I was living in Savannah writing Midnight," Berendt reveals in our interview. "I would call my apartment in New York, the answering machine would pick up, I'd read the page of text I'd just written, then I'd hang up. A minute later, I'd call my apartment again and listen to the "message." Hearing my own voice reading the page over the phone -- my voice having traveled 1800 miles (900 each way ) -- gave me just the detached perspective I needed."|
|A Dazzling Debut||Berendt's Reading Recommendations|
|Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil|
"Mr. Berendt's writing is elegant and wickedly funny, and his eye for telling details is superb.... Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil might be the first true-crime book that makes the reader want to call a travel agent and book a bed and breakfast for an extended weekend at the scene of the crime," raved The New York Times about Berendt's unique debut.
We asked Berendt to tell us about some of his favorite books, and William Gibson's visionary cyber-novel, Neuromancer, made his list. He explains, "[It's] pulp fiction, but it's guided by a hip wisdom about a baffling phenomenon that was only beginning to take shape." Read our interview with Berendt to learn more about his best-loved books, including:
|Photo by Graziano Arici||