“Like most Southern women of her age, Eudora regarded her bedroom as a place of privacy.
When she typed she was close enough to her windows that passers-by, if they knew to look up, could see one of America’s finest writers at work — no ordinary treat. As her fame spread, more people knew to look up and more of them rang the bell with copies of her books for her to autograph. One early morning, she told me, “a jogger came by, bouncing up and down in his jogging suit,” carrying a book for her to sign. She smiled, remembering the incongruity of the scene.”
“From a distance I espied an old house in white plastered finish with an apsidal end wall! Yes that was it, I knew. Its rather tumbledown condition, an unkempt garden with overgrown weeds, and a locked gate were telltale signs of its empty soul. To make sure, I confirmed the owner’s name from the neighbour, which was now a fashion store! Wonder, what Narayan would have made of his new neighbours!”
“Quite recently I stopped by Bateman’s, Rudyard Kipling’s 17th-century manor house in east Sussex, and I’ve also been to his massive clapboard house in Brattleboro, Vermont – where (somewhat incongruously) he wrote The Jungle Books at a desk overlooking a snow-filled pasture. A few year ago, on a visit to Key West, in Florida, I sat by the pool at Hemingway’s tropical villa, with its countless wild cats and dense palm enclosure. One can easily imagine Papa up in his study, sweating over the proofs of For Whom the Bell Tolls. On a recent visit to Oxford, Mississippi, I sat at William Faulkner’s rickety desk at Rowan Oak, his antebellum house, observing the peculiar light in August – which gave rise to the title of a novel (although the phrase also may refer to the fact that a pregnant cow may be “light” of its foal or calf in August if it should give birth in that month).”