Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the tuesday interview: lucy corin

Lucy Corin is the author of The Entire Predicament (Tin House Books) and Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls (FC2). She's currently at work on a novel about a hundred very small apocalypses and a novel about the brain. Her stories have appeared all over, including American Short Fiction, Ploughshares and Tin House Magazine. I'm pretty thrilled she's RQD's first interview.

RQD: What are you working on now? What's interesting to you about these characters?
LC: I'm writing a novel. Just yesterday, actually, I started a "character chart" to track the things I know so far about the characters, b/c I don't get interested in already-imagined characters so much as who they start being as I accumulate pages. So what interests me about these, is that I am developing them in relation to each other (trying to see how they counter and balance each other in the story) and struggling with fully imagining them the way I am writing them (rather than what in my life they spring from). I'm focusing on 2 characters who are obsessed with two possibly mad people, and trying to find the personhood within the context of madness is the point of writing the novel. There's a way that even including madness in the world of a book can dehumanize people/characters, and that's what I'm struggling with.

RQD: Who are some of the visual artists you're thinking about now in relation to your work?
LC: I spent some time looking at Marcel Dzama last year, and James Casabere photos of models of housing developments, and Simon Evans' maps. Going to SF MOMA today!

RQD: Is there a book or story or poem that you return to over and over?
LC: White Noise, Lolita and "A Good Man is Hard to Find," are probably the "most reread" things.

RQD: What are you reading now?
LC: Zeno's Conscience and Promethia

RQD: And as a kid, what were you reading? Did they impact your work? How?
LC: Incredibly important. My mother read me wonderful inappropriate things as a kid: James Dickey (The Sheep Child-- very formative!), Poe, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas...ee cummings (here is little effie's head whose brains are made of gingerbread...) she read me things she was into that were musical-- I remember how important musicality was both to her sense of what would appeal to a child and what the point of literature was. She also told me stories about British Royal history... the Stuarts and the Tudors and Anne Boleyn. It was great melodrama. I didn't learn to read until I was maybe 7 (dyslexia) but as soon as I could read I read intensely. Anne Frank was the first whole book I read by myself- I think I was 8. I wrote a poem about it. Z for Zaccharia (sp? author O'Brien?) was an important YA book for me. At 13 it was all about Jim Carroll's Baskeball Diaries.

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