Image: Copyright Perry Hagopian
International best-selling writer Louis Sachar is best known for being the author of global blockbuster Holes. The novel has won several awards and was made into a film in 2003.
How did you start playing bridge?
I learned to play bridge when I was very young by watching my parents play. I don’t remember if I actually had any lessons, but I was fascinated by the game, and occasionally they’d let me sit in on a hand. I also learned by using Autobridge. I stopped playing once I became a teenager. Nobody I knew played. Decades passed. I got serious about chess, and would play in chess tournaments. I’d read the chess column in the newspaper. Then in 1991 I moved from San Francisco to Austin, Texas. There was no chess column, so I started reading the bridge column, and my interest in the game returned. Shortly there after I met a duplicate player who asked if I wanted to give it a try. I scoffed when she mentioned that there was a game every day, and we could play several times a week. Once a week seemed more than enough, thank you very much. I now play four times a week, sometimes more.
What does bridge mean to you?
I think one of the reasons I became a writer is because I’m not all that adept at most social situations. I’m no good at small talk. I don’t like it. The communication in bridge is essential, but minimalistic, where you and your partner exchange ideas succinctly, without a whole lot of unnecessary words, yet there is true delight when your thoughts and efforts are perfectly coordinated.
What are your plans for this year?
I’m currently working on a novel that is very much about bridge, although that’s all I can say about it for now. If I can pull it off, I hope it will not only be enjoyed by a wide variety of readers, but will also cause a new group of young people to become interested in the game.