With a seven-volume, 3,000-page meditation on violence behind him (“Rising Up, Rising Down“) and a 1,300-page book ahead of him (“Imperial“), William T. Vollmann presents a unique, obsessive task for any editor.
In a NY Times profile, Vollmann pulls back the curtain on his writing studio, his reporting style, and talks about his editorial relationships. His new book will study the U.S. and Mexican border, exploring everything from drug ballads to border crossing deaths. For more about the dark side of American borders, check out the New Yorker profile of Arizona’s sheriff and author, Joe Arpaio.
Here’s a glimpse into the editing process of Vollmann latest book: “Mr. Vollmann’s editors urged him to cut, he said, and he resisted: ‘We always go round and round. They want me to cut, and I argue, so they cut my royalties, and I agree never to write a long book again.”