I didn’t want to shy away from the power of genre to pull in the reader, and in fact, the genre fiction I read the most—detective and crime—is often deeply interested in history and politics, as well as plot, much more so than a lot of mainstream literary fiction.
Be-Wilder v. [bewilder “to cause to lose one’s way, as in a wild or unknown place; to lead or drive astray”—O.E.D.]: to lead the Self and Others on Pixie-paths that wind ever deeper into the Unknown, to hear and follow the Call of the Wild
“I read somewhere that most people’s favorite teacher is a high school English teacher. That doesn’t mean that English teachers are better than other teachers. It means that rather than talk about amoebas or equations, we talk about feelings – Holden Caulfield’s, Hamlet’s, Hedda Gabler’s – and teenagers are full of feelings, so we’re right up their alley. Teaching literature is like shooting fish in a barrel and damned near solipsistic; every great book is, after all, about me.”
“When I first talked to my editor about revisions, I asked if I could rewrite the entire book. My editor gave me the permission to do so as long as I kept the heart of the story the same. The beginning and the ending of the book are the same, but everything else is different and hopefully much better.”
The way I tried to balance the fictional and real was to write a totally fictional story, starting with the death of the great cellist, involving characters who did not exist and events that never happened which, nonetheless, allowed me to describe the emotional realities of growing up in a world of classical music, with a great cellist for a father and a great instrument for a companion.
“There’s no doubt that a writer’s background, one’s personal experiences as well as the collective experiences of one’s race and people and country resonate in the work. But ultimately I think it’s the writer’s own inner landscape that shapes and influences most.”
I wouldn’t have guessed that this book would be the breakthrough, that’s for sure. I thought Delicious Foods was the dark, ambitious, difficult, less compromised and strange second novel, a.k.a., the flop, the “cult favorite, ” if it gets that lucky.