Q:  Bill, thanks for sitting to talk.

A: Thank you, Q.


Q:  You’ve got a new book, Life Among Giants, coming from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.  Tell us about some of the suffering the publisher has put you through.

A:  Well, they haven’t.  Really, they’re a very impressive and generous and lovely outfit, the best experience I’ve had in publishing!

I have a thing about last meals. Not as in prisoners about to be executed — they know it’s going to be their last. But as in just about everyone else, most all of us. Whatever’s coming, there’s going to be that last thing we eat. My folks, for example. They did pretty well in the last-­meal department, beautiful restaurant, family all around them, perfect sandwiches made by someone who truly cared about food. Lunch, as it happened. Their last meal, I mean. For my sister it was breakfast, but that was years later, and I’ll get to all that. The point is, I like to eat every meal as if it were the last, as if I knew it were the last: savor every bite, be there with the food, make sure it’s good, really worthy. And though it’s an impossible proposition, I try to take life that way, too: every bite my last.