Questions for Pete Hamill

Nick Higgins

Questions for the ex-newspaper editor and author.

Q: Will print newspapers soon become extinct?

A: Well, there’s an inevitability about where they’re going. For now, it’s like a highway, where there are a bunch of people driving stick shifts and a lot more with automatic transmissions. They’ll coexist for a while, until things start shaking out. But anywhere from 60 to 70 percent of the cost of putting out a newspaper is paper, ink and trucks. It’s not going to work that way forever.

Q: Will you be putting supernatural elements in your next novel?

A: No vampires, no zombies. But what might be coming is a strong revival of the short story. There’s information overload. The attention span is shorter. When I look at people with Kindles on the subway, I don’t think they’re reading Anna Karenina. But if you don’t read, you can’t write. You’re a better lawyer if you’ve read Anna Karenina. There are things that will inform your humanity through great literature that can’t come any other way.