The last thing I want to be in my writing is didactic and preachy, but I do want to remind my readers that, in a way, all of life is a domino effect, that people suffer a lot and for a lot of different reasons, and that we all probably need to work on our empathy skills and on paying attention a bit more.
“I first saw Apocalypse Now when I was not yet a teenager, and it was way too soon to see it. My voice would shake when I talked about it later, even in college. So I wanted to take my revenge on that movie and all of the Hollywood canon about the war, for as I say in the novel, this is the first case in history where the losers get to write the history.”
My parents were Brooklynites, urban Jews who moved to a rural town in New Jersey after they married. We were raised to believe we were in exile, that somewhere a better place awaited us where we would truly be at home. I’ve done a lot of moving around in my life, looking for that place, and eventually I found it in my work.
by Julia Mahony
“Just come visit, and I’ll introduce you to her all day long” — Rob Gipe on the origins of Dawn, the young protagonist of Trampoline.
When I was younger, I was drawn to activities for which I had a natural aptitude, but discovered that I couldn’t feel really passionate about something that didn’t require more of me than I thought I was able to give. I’ve learned a lot about how to be brave and vulnerable, fearless and reverent by fighting and writing my way forward.
by Chris Cander
She didn’t understand when a neighbor said she could hang up a line for her “warsh” or that the likelihood for rain was “chancy.” The idea that a man “hain’t good for nothing” was not quite as difficult to comprehend. . . as the idea that “he don’t know no better.”
When I finally began to write about what I knew (it’s obvious— but it’s not obvious until you know what it is you know!) it felt like opening a door and coming home. This wasn’t really a matter of the subjects—people, relationships, families: I’d tried all that before. It was a matter of the voice; it was that I discovered what I sounded like, what I needed to sound like, to tell my truth about what I saw.