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From The Very Last Interview, a collection of questions loosely adapted from interviews with the writer David Shields, which will be published this month by New York Review Books.

Any plans to retire soon?

Let’s say I told you that you had to retire right now. What would be your immediate reaction?

What is it like being old, or at least older?

Are a hundred years enough?

What keeps you going now?

Feel super-duper satisfied about the overall journey?

Isn’t there a sort of grace in knowing when to exit the stage?

When you imagine the future without yourself in it, how does that make you feel?

How do you calculate the precise balance between the force for good and the force for ill—not only within yourself but also all of humanity?

Why are we so melancholy?

Are we out of time?

Are you seeking an exit strategy?

Are you done?

Are you, in essence, a ghost?

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June 1993

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