I do wish I could write like some of the American women, who can be clever and heartfelt and hopeful; people like Lorrie Moore and Jennifer Egan. But Ireland messed me up too much, I think, so I can't.
If your life just falls apart early on, you can put it together again. It's the people who are always on the brink of crisis who don't hit bottom who are in trouble.
I'm quite interested in the absolute roots of narrative, why we tell stories at all: where the monsters come from.
I think it's very important to write a demythologized woman character. My characters are flawed. They are no better than they should be.
I was raised in a very old fashioned Ireland where women were reared to be lovely.
You write a book and you finish the book. That's your job done, right? You win the Booker and you have a whole new job. You have to be the thing, right? So instead of writing the story, you somehow are the story. And that I found that sort of terrible.
I can't think of anything you might say about Irish people that is absolutely true.
There's no such thing as a life that is not normal, or, there's no such thing as a life that is not abnormal. We all have amazing lives; we all have very dull lives.
There often is a dark secret in books... There is often a gathering sense of dread; there's a gap sometimes in the text from which all kinds of monsters can emerge.
I love the characters not knowing everything and the reader knowing more than them. There's more mischief in that and more room for seriousness, too.
If you grow up in Ireland and read books then you really are obliged to attempt your own some time. It is not exactly a choice. I still don't know if I am a writer. Believe me, there are days when I have my doubts.
Naming is nice. It took me days before I was able to speak a name for my first child (what if people did not like it?), and I suspect we gave her a secret, second name as well, to keep her safe.
The writing day can be, in some ways, too short, but it's actually a long series of hours, for months at a time, and there is a stillness there.
It is very hard to trace the effect of words on a life.
If you can just actually let the character be for a bit, then you get the right sense.
For un-subscribe please check the mail footer.