…when people who have read my memoirs suggest to me that I must feel terribly exposed, I often think that my fiction — all of our fiction — is much more exposing. Memoir comes from a more conscious place. Assumedly, we know what happened, and we’re trying to piece together a story out of what happened, to come, perhaps, to a deeper understanding. The art in memoir is more associative than deeply subconscious. If I can make that distinction.
In fiction, the subconscious is paramount. We are driven — we follow the line of words. Our secret lives, our desires, our obsessions, our fears, shape every line, whether that fiction is autobiographical or not. I sometimes have the feeling, after visiting a class or a book group that has read a number of my novels, of having just participated in some really intense group therapy. Metaphors and thematic through lines are pointed out to me, and all I can do is nod, speechless. So I think that fiction gets at the truth in a more subterranean way, hidden from the writer in a way that it isn’t in memoir.
"Apologia" by T. Coraghessan Boyle via The New Yorker
Talitha Stevenson at The New Statesmem :: Reviewed - Mad Girl’s Love Song by Andrew Wilson, A Gorgeous Pathology
Jenny Zhang via Rookie Magazine
Ian McEwan from Paris Review — The Art of Fiction No. 173
make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history
or music, that we should begin
with the simple exercises first
and slowly go on trying
the hard ones, practicing till strength
and accuracy became one with the daring
to leap into transcendence, take the chance
of breaking down the wild arpeggio
or faulting the full sentence of the fugue.
And in fact we can’t live like that: we take on
everything at once before we’ve even begun
to read or mark time, we’re forced to begin
in the midst of the hard movement,
the one already sounding as we are born.