Author Spotlight: Thomas Holliday

Book: Falling Up: The Days and Nights of Carlisle Floyd, The Authorized Biography

Thomas Holliday has directed multiple productions of over fifty operas, operettas, and musicals in Europe and the United States. He has worked as a composer, conductor, opera educator, writer, and lecturer on operatic subjects. His book Falling Up: The Days and Nights of Carlisle Floyd, The Authorized Biography will be published in the fall.

On the Nightstand Now:

“Jan Wallentin: Strindberg’s Star. Intriguing but chaotic, and not very elegantly translated; but l’ll read most anything about the inexplicable and clinically insane Nazis, especially the Holocaust, about which I mean to write one of these days.”

On the Office Floor:

“(don’t even ask about the shelves) Fiction: Andrew Miller: Pure, Chris Pavone: The Expats, Patricia Highsmith: Ripley Under Water, Strangers on a Train, The Price of Salt (I’ve already read all the other wonderfully creepy Ripley books).

Nonfiction: Christoph Wolff: Mozart at the Gateway to his Fortune, Erik Larson: In the Garden of Beasts, Nicholas Delbanco: Lastingness: The Art of Old Age, The Autobiography of Mark Twain, V. 1, Glenn Watkins: The Gesualdo Hex, Stephen Greenblatt: The Swerve.”

Favorite Childhood Book:

“Holling C. Holling: Minn of the Mississippi.”

Top Five Favorite Authors:

“Hesse, Balzac, Dickens, Stephen King, Hemingway.”

Top Five I’d Like to Hang Out With:

“Pretty much the same crowd, except for Hemingway. That would just be asking for trouble; and King has sworn off the sauce. So I’d probably add someone like Michael Frayn to bring some laughter to the room or Mark Twain. And though he’s a composer, Mozart would have to be included. He’s the one I’d most like to have known; but through his music, we all do.”

Top Evangelist Book:

“Michael Pollan: The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Book I’ve bought for the cover. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever done that. Though an inveterate browser in book and record stores (or at least when we had record stores), I usually know what I’m looking for, or buy a new title or a subject in which I’m already interested.”

Book That Changed My Life:

“Hermann Hesse: Siddartha.”

Favorite Line:

“From Hesse’s diary from November 1920: ‘Concerning this day, at the top of this page from the varied pages of my life, I would like to write one word, a word like ‘world’ or ‘sun,’ a world full of magic, sound, and fullness, fuller than full, richer than rich, a word with the meaning of complete fulfillment, complete knowledge.Then the word occurs to me… I write it in large letters at the top of this page: MOZART. It means: the world makes sense, and it is perceivable in the likeness of music.’”

Book You Most Want to Read Again for the First Time:

“T.H. White: The Once and Future King.”

Questions Inspired by the “Book Brahmin” series on Shelf Awareness.

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One response

  1. Pingback: What SUP from Your Favorite University Presses, July 13, 2012 | Yale Press Log

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