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Robert Boyers

Robert Boyers is editor of the arts and humanities quarterly Salmagundi and director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. He has taught at Skidmore College and was the first Tisch Professor of Arts and Letters. He is the author of nine books, including Excitable Women, Damaged Men (Turtle Point, 2005), a collection of short stories; and The Dictator’s Dictation (Columbia, 2005), essays on the politics of novels and novelists.


The Devil’s Tail: Reading From the Lives of Authors

Fall 2010 | Essays

I spent a day with V. S. Naipaul in the fall of 1980. He was teaching undergraduates that semester at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and he’d agreed to be interviewed for a projected special issue of Salmagundi magazine. My companions on this visit were the novelist Bharati Mukherjee and my wife Peg Boyers. From the first, in our preliminary phone conversations, Naipaul had expressed objections about my friend Bharati. “Why bring an Indian with you?” he asked.