Stuart Nadler’s writing touches on the core American themes: vast geography, wealth, racism, individual rights, and baseball. He is the author of Wise Men, a sweeping tale of a family’s rise to fortune and the complications it creates, and the story collection The Book of Life. Nadler has been honored with the 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an all-around nice guy.
Nadler’s first novel, Wise Men, was published in February to great acclaim. The Boston Globe found it “genuinely moving,” while People Magazine called it “A historical novel with the gusto of Gatsby.” To read his story, “Airplanes,” check out the Fall 2012 issue of CQ. The Carolina Quarterly recently talked with Nadler about looking at pictures of old Cadillacs, Cape Cod National Seashore, and what it’s like to create a town.
–Nate Young, Fiction Staff
Carolina Quarterly (CQ): You were recently selected for “5 under 35″ by the National Book Foundation for The Book of Life. What does that honor mean for you?
Stuart Nadler (SN): It was a great honor and utterly humbling, especially having been picked by Edith Pearlman, a writer whose work I love and admire—and a Bostonian! And I was especially glad to be part of such a terrific group of writers.
CQ: Your new novel, Wise Men, seems to be very concerned with geography: Cape Cod; New Haven, Connecticut; suburban New York; and rural Iowa, among other places. Do you have any connection to these locations yourself?
SN: I don’t have any particular connection to New Haven, apart from having driven through it for years when going back and forth between Boston and New York. I have, though, lived in Iowa, which is where I went to graduate school, and for the past few years I’ve been spending time in the summers out on the far arm of Cape Cod. It’s an area of the country I love, and one that everyone, at some point, needs to see. President Kennedy made this far edge of the Cape into a National Park (The National Seashore) and so it’s been left alone, and because of that it’s completely empty of all the kinds of beachy bric-a-brac and resort hotels and boardwalk amusements that you find up and down the east coast. Instead you have the trees and the spot ponds and the whole coast, unadorned and beautiful.
Continue reading An Interview with Stuart Nadler