The Novelist

“I’ve always said I’d like to be known as the novelist or the playwright who also did television news. I’m very proud of what I’ve done. But let’s face it: What I’m doing now is more creative. And people don’t know anything about it.”

– Jim Lehrer, playwright, author of 21 novels
… oh, and he did something or other in the news biz for over fifty years

In an earlier interview (2009), Lehrer said, “I’ve always felt it was a little bit bragging to say you’re a writer, to say ‘I’m a novelist.’ I’m still trying to be a novelist, and it doesn’t get any easier.”

Jim Lehrer

On a related note:

Lehrer discussed his most recent novel, Top Down: A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination, on “The Diane Rehm Show” on Monday. His novel sounds compelling, but the most fascinating parts of the interview centered on Lehrer’s  observations on the impact of the assassination on American media. Lehrer covered the assassination as a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald.

(The novel’s title is a reference to the decision to lower the “bubble top” on the limousine carrying JFK through Dallas. Lehrer explains the implications of this in his interview with Rehm. For more info, you can read the transcript here, or listen to the interview on the show’s website.)

The first quote is from the NYT article “An anchor tells stories on stage, but off camera,” Sept. 11, 2013
The second quote is from the USA Today article, “Novelist Jim Lehrer is still swinging for the fences,” March 23, 2009.


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