“Of course, New York is a series of small towns, isn’t it. You get to know your neighborhood and the people. It’s amazing, you know. I guess it’s not the same kind of closeness—you don’t day by day know as you do in a small town—but certain experiences happen in cities and small towns and they’re very much similar, really. The outer coating may be different, but the human heart is almost the same.”
This conversation between Horton Foote and Frank Rich, part of a collaboration between 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center and The Paris Review, was recorded live at 92Y on March 28, 1996. We are able to share this recording thanks to a generous gift in memory of Christopher Lightfoot Walker, longtime friend of the Poetry Center and The Paris Review. An interview with Foote has not yet appeared in The Paris Review.
Christopher Lightfoot Walker (1954—2012) served as poster director, prints director, and advisory editor of The Paris Review. He also volunteered at the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, making transcriptions, which were models of their kind, of audio recordings of live literary events. Chris was born in New York City, attended the Buckley School, then went west to Fountain Valley School and back east to Hampshire College. He was engaged in a number of entrepreneurial efforts (some in collaboration with his father, Angus Lightfoot Walker, longtime chairman of the City Investing Company) when, at the age of thirty-one, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. He wore his adversity lightly, retaining, in addition to his considerable wits, his sense of humor and sense of fun. Against the odds he remained a person on whom no delightful thing was ever lost. Chris was always grateful for the refuge he was able to find in the work provided by the Y.