Q. "From a creative standpoint, how is the world in which we write now fundamentally different from that of Mark Twain, Harriet Stowe, and all these historical Connecticut writers?"
A. "We're dealing here with a collective loss of attention span. The best seller list and the book stores are less reliant on old-fashioned narrative and more on literary gimmickry: wisdom, briefly revealed, between the covers, as in teh indefensible Tuesdays with Morrie. This may change. As society confronts deep issues there can be a hunger span again to learn more through reading. On the other hand, the author's life remains a hard one. Yes, books still get published, but as a business, it's one that has no guarantees."