Questions and Answers
What inspired you to write this book?
Can you describe what you do at the Folger Shakespeare Library?
Being a scholar, did you identify with the monks' desire for solitary study?
You're a scholar of the 17th century. How did your knowledge of those times prepare you to write about a religious order that's nearly 1,000 years old?
The Carthusians are a reclusive order. How did you gain access to Parkminster, and how commonplace is it for outsiders to be allowed inside the monastery?
How were you received by the monks – both as an outsider, and as a woman?
What did your husband say upon hearing you were going to write this book?
What have others said about your husband?
Your husband is an ex-Carthusian – when and why did he leave the order?
You say that ex-Carthusians can be difficult to live with – why?
The reaction of the Carthusian community has been very positive, and several monks and ex-monks have said that your portrayal of the Carthusian way of life is remarkably accurate. How easy was it to get inside the mindset of the monks?
Physically and mentally the Carthusian life is notoriously tough – how does the regime affect the monks psychologically?
Do you think the need to live such an extreme lifestyle is partially the result of already having a mental disorder?
The popular and critical success of England's "The Monastery," a television reality show, and the German film "Into Great Silence" suggest a real increase in interest in spirituality in general, and the contemplative life in particular. Why do you think this is?
I am available by telephone to answer questions and provide additional understanding of monastic life to your book group.
When your book group reads An Infinity of Little Hours, my publisher will set up a call-in session if you e-mail the details of time and place to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to meeting you.
-Nancy Klein Maguire-