“As for my research process: undiscriminating and ravenous. I read everything I could get my hands on related to squatting in general and the history of squatting on the Lower East Side in particular.”
The thing that she said repeatedly was that people, especially artists, should spend time alone. “If you’re alone and quiet, you see the new things.”
by Sonya Chung
Emotion wells up: I feel sorrow, and gratitude, and pity. I don’t know what I am sorrowful about, for what I am grateful, or for whom I feel pity. But I feel these things, teeming and indistinguishable.
“Wendi’s situation was an incredibly unique one. Some days she would feel great and we would accomplish as much as we could, and some days she would feel bad and we’d just have to make decisions without her and hope they were the right ones. When she put out the call for book blurbs, I was absolutely inundated with emails. I think that’s indicative of both her talent and the person she was, always bringing people together and inspiring them.
“But what really happened? And what “really” means? Especially in fictional story? And let’s say that every true story is fictional, in a way, because it’s always filtered by our inner filters.”
“My best description I can come up with for what it’s like to write a novel is that it is like going into your garage and trying to build a one-of-a-kind, custom musical instrument out of the spare parts you find there, while simultaneously composing the best possible music to play on that instrument. . . as you are learning what this instrument is capable of doing, you change the kind of music you envision you can play on it. There are possibilities that come up that you never imagined.”
“Eventually, as I understood myself better, I was able deal directly with the central issues of the Japanese American experience and meld my short stories into a novel. But it took a very long time.”