I was immediately smitten with an attraction to this culture, not in the sense of high culture but of the basic way people behaved towards one another.
My dream, I remember, when I went to boarding school, was to have a study all my own, a little nook someplace where nobody could get at me - nobody, like the football coach.
And then, when I left Princeton in the middle of my sophomore year, I went into the navy.
I'd been brought up on the Upper East Side in a WASP society, which was death on crutches.
After the navy, I transferred to Harvard and finished there. I was there the spring term of 1951 and I stayed through the summer term and a whole other year, so I was able to do two years in a little less than a year and a half.
It has always been something I could do, and it may seem odd that in my case I seem to create an interesting narrative and frustrate the reader's opportunities to follow it at every step.
My idea was to go to Vienna to study conducting and perhaps play in an orchestra first, so I thought before I got to Vienna I could do with a little training in Paris.
Well, I had this little notion - I started writing when I was eleven, writing poetry. I was passionately addicted to it; it was my great refuge through adolescence.
I also had this mistaken dream, fantasy really - perhaps because I'm good at languages - of being able in both Italy and France to become someone else through my fluency in the language.
And I finished college because I thought how much it would upset my parents if I didn't.
I love teaching.
I think situations are more important than plot and character.
Music had been my first love among the arts, and I was fascinated by it, as I still am.
My Life in CIA is the first time that I've ever written a story in my own name.
My mother could never understand why I didn't write a thriller, which I've finally done.
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