Robin McLean is taking the country by storm with her "Sidewind Across America" tour for her new BOA book Reptile House. The national reading community has welcomed her with open arms, which is demonstrated by her most recent interviews with New Hampshire Public Radio and Late Night Library. For The Bookshelf, NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State, All Things Considered host Peter Biello interviewed McLean on elements of her new book, her personal inspirations, and her life before becoming an award-winning author, comparing her distinctive voice to that of Flannery O'Connor. First a lawyer and then a potter for 15 years in the woods of Alaska, McLean discusses how both crafts led her to, and now shape, her writing. "The thing about the law is, the precision of language is very important," says McLean. "What courts argue about a lot of the time is the meaning of a line, the meaning of a sentence, the meaning of a clause. I’m sure that it made me very aware of ambiguity in language, and I really love to play with ambiguity. . . . And then with pottery: you have to make a pot and you repeat over and over and over again a shape. . . . You definitely learn through long stretches of time and enormous amounts of error and failure and success and things falling on the ground, and you just learn to keep going and keep trying and that style and technique changes with time and repetition, and that is definitely the case with writing." In a new Late Night Library interview, Anne Rasmussen speaks with McLean about her darker writing, as well as her developed understanding of dialogue, meticulous editing process, and overwhelmingly successful national book tour. Click here to take a listen to McLean's Bookshelf conversation with All Things Considered host Peter Biello. Click here for McLean's full Late Night Library interview with Anne Rasmussen. Reptile House is available now at the BOA Bookstore.
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