We were the News-of-the-World Theater Collective, moving from city to city together; we were all married to each other and to the idea of what you could pull from the streams of the news that ran over and around and through our lives. We wanted no one to let that information splash over them without thinking, so much unnoticed linguistic and conceptual sewage. Selene and I were with the company for six years – in the Tenderloin, in various U.S. cities during the year when we were touring by bus, and then back home in San Francisco, where it all broke apart for us. (From "News of the World")


It began as an ordinary lunchtime. Every business and government office in Burundi had shut down for two or three hours, and Jean-Pierre came to join me. We'd already disappeared into the bedroom while Deo finished making lunch. The sound of his disapproving hymns, floating back from the kitchen, had continued all through our love-making. Now we sat on my porch, gorging ourselves on capitaine lapped in palm oil and surrounded by green bananas baked until they were soft, fat, sticky with oil. Though it wasn't raining just then, it had been earlier, and the clouds were thick and spectacular overhead, massed above the mountains of Zaire as they rose up across the lake, the light and water harmonizing in dense, luminous grays. (from The True Sources of the Nile)


The romantic image of the solitary writer persists in our culture—chopping wood outside a Montana cabin between chapters, writing stories on nights and weekends in a tiny eighth-floor walk-up in the Bronx, or filling handmade notebooks on a trans-Siberian train. Fiction writing is one of the least collaborative of the arts, unlike theater, dance, or music. At the same time, writers have always been in community with each other, sharing knowledge and support—the Japanese poets of the Edo period; the English Romantics; the habitués of Madame de Staël’s salon; the poets, playwrights, and novelists of the Harlem Renaissance; the Beat writers. (From Deepening Fiction)