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Spokane author Jess Walter on writing short stories, his working-class roots and his hometown

Jess Walter is The New York Times-bestselling writer of “Beautiful Ruins” and nine other books. His newest short story collection, “The Angel of Rome and Other Stories,” is the mark of a profoundly talented writer who can capture the internal lives of a 20-something barista living in Bend, Oregon, an older man glaring at kids from his window in Spokane and an Italian actress reflecting on how she never got her dream role in equally persuasive and poignant ways. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

“The Angel of Rome and Other Stories”

Jess Walter, Harper, 288 pp., $27.99

You seem to have a very innate sense of what a story needs to make a character’s…

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