Nathan Ihara has an interesting piece in LA Weekly about author interview collections.
He examines The Paris Review Interviews, Volume II (which I'm currently devouring) and The World Within, a collection of author interviews published by Tin House. While I've not yet settled down with The World Within (and so cannot yet offer my take on the differences between the collections), Ihara make his preferences quite plain:
"I can’t help but feel that The Paris Review’s interviews, which kicked off in 1953 with George Plimpton interviewing E.M. Forster, were founded on a wrongheaded notion...Too many interviewers are overeager to prove their knowledge of the writer’s work, and as a result the conversation spirals down into discussion of particular metaphors or the genesis for certain characters — a gold mine for graduate students, no doubt, but a lessening of the interviews’ larger purpose."
While Ihara praises the excellent nuggets that are a sure thing with The Paris Review Interviews, he much prefers the more "artistically inspired pieces" included in The World Within.
And the TBR pile grows ever-higher.