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Interview: Alec Wilkinson – Author, Journalist, Critic, Musician

Interview:  Alec Wilkinson – Author, Journalist, Critic, Musician

 

 

INTRODUCTION- 33 sec.





Introduction to Alec Wilkinson.

 

 

Alec Wilkinson is a writer who has been on the staff of The New Yorker magazine since 1980. Before that he played guitar in rock and roll bands.  For The New Yorker, he frequently writes music criticism in the form of Profiles and stories for “Talk of the Town.”  Wilkinson has written ten books: Midnights (1982), Moonshine (1985), Big Sugar (1989), The Riverkeeper (1981), A Violent Act (1993), My Mentor (2002), Mr. Apology (2003), The Happiest Man in the World (2007, about Poppa Neutrino, the only man to cross the Atlantic in a raft made of found materials), and The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger (2009). His most recent book, The Ice Balloon (2012), is an account of the Swedish visionary aeronaut S.A. Andree’s attempt, in 1897, to reach the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon.

We interviewed Doty at the Miami Book Fair, MDC.  The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds to 6 minutes. Click on any video.

 

EARLY INFLUENCES – 52 sec.





You were exposed to music, art, and literature at an early age. What was your first awareness of any art discipline?

 

EDUCATION – 1:55 min.





What was the impact of Bennington College on your career?

 

JUST DO IT – 2:43 min.





Why did you think you could change disciplines from music to writing?

 

DEVELOPING A VOICE – 5:41 min.





Who were your role models? How did you develop your voice?

 

BE OPEN MINDED – 4:15 min.





How did the great New Yorker editor William Maxwell shape your writing?

 

SEIZE THE MOMENT – 1:40 min.





Why did William Maxwell invest so much time in you when you were just getting started?

 

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM – 5:07 min.





What are you trying to accomplish when you write articles about artists? And how would you describe your form of criticism?

 

CHALLENGING SITUATIONS – 2:34 min.





Describe a challenging situation that you overcame successfully.