I don't believe the world's a particularly beautiful place, but I do believe in redemption.
I'm not interested in blind optimism, but I'm very interested in optimism that is hard-won, that takes on darkness and then says, 'This is not enough.'
When I come home, I say I'm coming home to Dublin. When I'm in Dublin, I say I'm going home to New York. I'm sort of a man of two countries.
You cannot read any image of the World Trade Center without thinking of 9/11.
Part of me really wants to believe that hope is entirely available to all of us. We don't have to embrace it. It would be sentimental and silly to say that we all need it, but it is absolutely available to all of us.
The contemporary American novelist benefits in a way from being ignored. It makes you angrier and makes you want to go into all of those places where you shouldn't.
About 25 years ago, I took a bicycle across the United States. I soon found out that the greatest item of clothing was the trusty bandanna. There were dozens of uses for a bandanna - as a pot holder, a chain cleaner, a sun shield, a headband, a snot rag, a declaration of Kerouacian intent.
It's not very fashionable, but I love life, and I believe that things disappear and reappear and nothing ever solidifies, no matter how middle-class, housebroken, staid, and solitary someone's life seems to be. That, I think, is what I'm writing about.
I don't really know what an adverb is. A dangling participle? That sounds really rude. I don't know what character is, really. Plot seems vaguely juvenile to me. It's all about language, it's all about how you apply it to the page.
Part of the beauty of fiction is that we come alive in a body that we don't own.
I grew up sort of middle class, safe and suburban.
Every first thing is always a miracle. The first person you fall in love with. The first letter you receive. The first stone you throw. And in my conception of the novel, the letter becomes important. But what's more important is the fact that we need to continue to tell each other stories.
Increasingly I think of myself as some strange and solitary conductor, introduced to a group of very dynamic musicians who happen to be my characters, and I have no idea how they are going to play together, and I have certainly no idea how I am going to put manners on them.
The further away we got from 9/11, the more I wanted to find some way to recover. I wanted to talk about the more anonymous corners of the city, because I think it's very important that not all of that anger was turned to revenge.
I have the most charmed, most - I feel entirely blessed and lucky that I have the life that I have.
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