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”Right now I’m reading The Dalkey Archives by Flann O’Brien (a.k.a. Sir Myles na Gopaleen). He’s an Irish writer who’s very learned and bitter and satirical. James Joyce and St. Augustine appear as characters. It’s wild- there’s a man who’s afraid he’ll turn into a bicycle. I’m also reading Look at the Harlequins by Vladimir Nabokov and Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, which is very violent and beautiful. For my difficult book (because if you don’t have one, you become intellectually lazy), I’m reading Spengler’s Decline of the West. I’m also reading a book about people who handle snakes, Serpent-Handling Believers by Thomas Burton, as research for the book I’m writing.” Donna Tartt is the author of the best-selling novel The Secret History.