Memory is not particularly linear - it is associative, repetitive, subjective and porous. But the writer needs to convey disorder and dysfunction without making the novel itself disorderly or dysfunctional.
The idea that you can live off the grid and just do your own thing is a very American idea - that you should be able to do your own thing, if you want to, if you're willing to pay the price for it. I think the price has gotten higher and higher.
Occupy Wall Street means making Wall Street and the corporate power elite understand that the people affected by the binge of unregulated greed are not going away, and they are not going to give up.
I am a great procrastinator. When the writing is going really well, the laundry piles up.
Your memories from your early childhood seem to have such purchase on your emotions. They are so concrete.
The novel is about, for me, sustained and organized looking. I do think that people have a hunger for a sustained engagement, that concentration that the book can offer.
Although a great restaurant experience must include great food, a bad restaurant experience can be achieved through bad service alone. Ideally, service is invisible. You notice it only when something goes wrong.
A good novel should be deeply unsettling - its satisfactions should come from its authenticity and its formal coherence. We must feel something crucial is at stake.
I don't have a lot of skills, but one thing I can do is, I can compartmentalize. I can make that a little world that I can go back to, so I can be a waitress, or I can be a teacher, and then go and work on my book.
People think it's suspect and self-indulgent to make art, and I don't think that's true. Some people think you should be busy making something that you can sell in the marketplace, and if nobody wants to buy it, it must be crap. And that's not true.
I like the challenge of creating a world with only sentences.
Getting an audience requires luck as well as talent. Some artists are private and shy. It costs them too much.
I like to buy books for the kids in my family. I guess that's why they call me the 'mean' aunt.
I try to write about how we live today, how we use language, technology, our bodies.
That was one of the reasons I became a writer - I never really had that many friends. I would read a lot, and listen to music. And that was my life.
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