Stewart O'Nan was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., and worked as an aerospace engineer before turning to writing. He is the author of a dozen novels, including Snow Angels, A Prayer for the Dying, The Good Wife and Last Night at the Lobster. His latest novel, Songs for the Missing, is being published this month by Viking and has been praised by Dennis Lehane as the "best novel I've read all year."
On my nightstand now:
Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. Next up, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, then Evan S. Connell's Mrs. Bridge. And then Alice Munro's Selected Stories, because you can't have enough Alice Munro.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Alfred Hitchcock's The Three Investigators and the Mystery of the Green Ghost. Three boys, led by the roly-poly Jupiter Jones, run a makeshift detective agency out of an old trailer buried in a scrapyard.
Your top five authors:
Shakespeare, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King.
Book you've faked reading:
Does skimming count? In that case, Pynchon's Mason & Dixon.
Book you're an evangelist for:
The True Detective by Theodore Weesner. An unsettling yet moving story of a kidnapping in Portsmouth, N.H.
Book you've bought for the cover:
The movie tie-in paperback of Breakfast at Tiffany's with Audrey Hepburn on it.
Book that changed your life:
So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell.
Favorite line from a book:
"The reason life is so strange is that so often people have no choice."--William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Stand by Stephen King.