mono.kultur #12 / 25 TL
2007 / English / 15×20 cm / 31 Pages / 15 x 20 cm, softcover; interview by Caroline Muntendorf
“Fiction can travel anywhere, and probably should. Each time out, the writer must become a whole new county courthouse of competing voices, oblique motives, and incompatible beliefs. As such, no single set of rules will serve to get us through even the simplest story.”
– Richard Powers
Celebrating his fiftieth birthday this June, Richard Powers is one of the most important voices in American fiction today. Born in Evanston, Illinois, he grew up in the Midwestern North Shore region and Bangkok, Thailand, where he moved with his family. At age 16, Powers returned to the U.S. and subsequently enrolled as a physics major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Shortly thereafter, he found himself switching his major to English literature and eventually took on a position as a computer programmer in Boston, Massachusetts, after having received his master’s degree. Although he came close to becoming a professional musician – Powers is a skilled multi-instrumentalist – it was a photograph byAugust Sander which inspired him to quit said line of work to make a choice between his many career options and focus on writing his first novel, Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, which debuted in 1985. After his next two novels which he wrote during an extended stay in the Netherlands, he became a finalist for the National Book Award for Operation Wandering Soul in 1993 – an award he eventually received for last year’s critically acclaimed The Echo Maker, which has recently been nominated one of this year’s finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.