I still see the world as a place of bitter irony and black humour, failed hopes, dashed plans. I hope to make my work sparer, to outgrow my desire to show off.
Copywriting cuts the communication cord between word and feeling. By offering instant gratification, it atrophies more subtle emotions.
I do not mean for one second to suggest that 'White Doves at Morning' was written with a movie deal in mind. Certainly not.
As Annie Proulx is to Wyoming, so is Jane Candia Coleman to Arizona.
In the 1880s, a weedy Easterner named Owen Wister had something like a nervous breakdown. Wyoming, with its wide-open spaces and healthy pursuits, was prescribed as a cure. Wister was immediately smitten by the taciturn cowboys and the rules imposed upon them by the cattle barons.
One-eyed Reuben 'Rooster' Cogburn is the role that finally delivered John Wayne his Oscar.
McCarthy's prose in 'Blood Meridian' comes blazing from the Book of Revelation.
In 1966, I bought my parents a carriage clock for their silver wedding anniversary. It was last wound 30 years later, in December 1996, the month my father died.
I'll tell you now that I hate myself for many reasons, but being Jewish is not one of them.
Tel Aviv is buzzing with so much life, you could bottle it and sell it as honey, and even Jerusalem has a certain fizz. But if you want to see anger, go to Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem on a Friday afternoon.
If someone like my father chooses to criticise Israeli policies, it's not because he is a self-hating Jew, but because he is not prepared to live in a state of self-denial.
I'm completely lacking any sense of religious belief, but I am superstitious.
I believe that there may well be a personal God out there - not a monotheistic God - that has got it in for me.
I had a Latin master who, for no rational reason whatsoever - I was a very quiet kid at school - just hated me.
I went to UC Santa Cruz, overlooking the Bay of Monterey and Santa Cruz, in 1969. Back then, the city was part-hippie, part-surfer, but mostly retired chicken farmer.
Santa Cruz is blessed not only with natural wonders, but also with gifted souls who can fashion nature's bounty into man-made treasures.
My own zigzag path through life led me back to Santa Cruz in the early Eighties, and I have revisited regularly since. The place hasn't changed: head in the clouds, backside on the hills and feet in the ocean - one of the most decent and beautiful places on earth.
At school, I never had a hold on English history, and cheder was a place run by sadistic incompetents, so I felt alienated from the Jewish part of my past.
My history was the Western. I grew up with the Lone Ranger, the Cisco Kid and Bonanza. I felt as much a child of the West as someone born in Montana or Wyoming.
As I was writing, I realised I wasn't sufficiently extrovert to gather enough interesting souls with tall tales around me. I was no Louis Theroux. But neither was I interested in exploring my inner life in public, in the manner of a Jonathan Raban.
You have to turn a blind eye to politics in nearly all Westerns.
Back when I was young, lists seemed like fences on the open range. But secretly, I was pleased to be corralled among other literary thoroughbreds.
I owe my discovery of the Hot Club of Cowtown to Kinky Friedman, leader of the Texas Jewboys. When I saw that Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys were headlining the 2003 Santa Clarita Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, I thought it my duty to check out the band that had inspired the Texas Jewboys.
Heinrich Heine once imagined the exiled Israelite as a dog who regains his stolen manhood only when he embraces the Sabbath bride. I see western swing performing a similar function in hardscrabble Texas, turning dirt-poor hired hands into Dapper Dans with magic feet at the Saturday night hoe-down.