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Note: This interview was included with my purchase of Henderson the Rain King.
This felt like an excerpt from a freewheeling telephone conversation between Atlas and Nafisi.
I very much like the idea of including extras like this with book purchases. However, these off the cuff remarks by an author I am not familiar with did not give any biographical details about Bellow, or an overview of his most significant works or discuss why he might be considered an important writer. The conversation mentioned only two books of his, neither of which was Rain King.
The conversation also didn't really introduce Azar Nafisi- why should I, the listener, want to hear her personal views on Bellow? She wasn't speaking authoritatively about him for the listener's edification, but rather was expressing some admiration for some of his writing (although a few of her compliments seemed a little backhanded.)
It WAS interesting to hear a modern, female author explain why Bellow is interesting to her despite the fact that she finds his female characters lacking.
I would have liked the interview to be more directly about the book I'd just listened to, give some kind of framework for understanding the author.
If I had already been knowledgeable about Nafisi or Bellow I might have found it fascinating to hear her dish about him. As it was, it didn't add to my enjoyment or understanding to the Bellow book it was attached to.
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