That women are mysterious and unknowable is something every young man grows up believing. Men, on the other hand, never think of themselves as mysterious or confusing, and we are often at a loss as to why women want to figure us out.
Every successful artist comes from a family - parents or siblings or both - who, although equally gifted, chose not to pursue the treacherous and difficult path of the artist.
I think a book that is over 400 pages should be split in two. I don't know that there's anything that interesting that can go on for 700 pages. I think that is a little bit indulgent.
I read mostly Irish, African, Japanese, South American, and African writers. You can count on Scandinavian literature for a certain kind of darkness, a modern mythic style.