The tape starts with the sound of many people talking. Then a dramatic reading from William Gass’s first book, Omensetter’s Luck., the chapter “The Triumph of Israbestis Tott.” begins. McCaffery says that Pam Adams directed “Icicles” (not on this tape), and Tom Rider directed the “Triumph of Israbestis Tott.” This was a “Living Authors” presentation, the last one of the semester, with a “Readers Theater” dramatic reading. He asks Gass how he feels about reading aloud, and Gass answers that the “whole point” of writing is for the ear. He says the show was a “realization of the text.” Adams says she had to do the cutting and said she cut about half the text in order to make the performance work. A student asks about Gass’s work schedule, and he says he works “continuously,” and can work 16 hours a day if otherwise free. This novel took more than 12 years of composition. A student asks if Gass is always thinking about his work, and the answer is that it is “in the back of my head.” In response to a question Gass discusses rhythm, pace, and rhetorical structure, saying, “I’m a very operatic writer.” Someone asks if the story is autobiographical, and Gass says it was “almost entirely made up.” Someone asks if he did research, and Gass answers that he does not do research, but the names and characters come first, with the language before the bodies. He says that if something is not either implied or stated in the book it is not in the book; there are deliberate loose ends. They discuss the works of Stendhal. There is no unified voice in Omensetter’s Luck, because it took a long time to write, and it is “layered, like geological strata,” and “not written by the same person.” In answer to a question, he says that the name Israbestis is rare but he actually found it.