Nicole Krauss signed books Oct. 28 at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

Softspoken but eloquent novelist Nicole Krauss talked about books, including her own new novel, at a Talking Volumes event at the Fitzgerald Theater Thursday night.

Krauss, whose third novel "Great House," has been named a fiction finalist by the National Book Award, said that the book grew from a short story she wrote a couple of years ago. Her writing does not depend on an outline, she said, and she has little idea at the outset where the novel will end up. "I make the doorknob first, then the door, and the room," she said in describing her writing process. "Only much later do you step back and see the whole house."

Krauss, best known for 2005's "The History of Love," stopped writing for a while after the birth of her first child four-and-a-half years ago. "I told my mom that having kids was like having my mind hitched to a team of wild horses," Krauss said. "I had to recover my inner life." Krauss is married to the writer Jonathan Safran Foer. The two recently had a second son. "Great House" is dedicated to the two boys, Sasha and Cy.

Asked about books she loves, Krauss named two by Israeli writer David Grossman. She said his 1989 "See Under: Love," which she read in her twenties, was "amazing" and that "it goes everywhere, and breaks all the rules." His critically-acclaimed new novel, "To the End of the Land," "blew my mind," Krauss said, and she read the entire book on her computer in two days when it first was translated. The English version includes a blurb by Krauss, and the two recently appeared together at a talk at the New York Public LIbrary.

Minnesota Public Radio will broadcast Kerri Miller's interview with Krauss.

The musical guest was Ben Kyle from Romantica.

Suggested links:

Star Tribune interview with Krauss.

Star Tribune review of "Great House."



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