Monday, June 15, 2009

Julia Leigh (Interview with Charles Tan)

Julia Leigh - "Disquiet"

How did you decide on the length of "Disquiet?" What is it about the novella format that makes it apt for this particular story?

My sense is that the length of a work is more or less determined by an author's stylistic choices. DISQUIET is very controlled - in keeping with the control of the characters, characters who cannot bring themselves to discuss their great losses, who try to hold themselves together as they bear towards breaking. There is more silence than there is consolation.

"Disquiet" explores several uncomfortable subjects. Did you have any difficulty with these scenes, or is that what you particularly enjoy when it comes to writing fiction?

The book comes from a place of intense feeling....I can't say it was particularly easy or enjoyable to write. Maybe there's such a thing as a difficult pleasure.

You're a lauded writer. In what way has your writing improved or altered since The Hunter, and how has your experience helped you in writing this book?

I almost feel as if I had to shuck off the first book in order to write the second. And I expect it will be the same with the next book: 'don't look back'. I have a great admiration for authors who have created a strong body of work, from book to book.

1 comment:

Jordie Rocks said...

Anyone whom Toni Morrison would mentor has to be an extraordinaryly gifted writer and wordsmith as Morrison is a wizard with words, and amongst other things has spent 2 decades editing formidable writers' manuscripts in New York. I look forward to reading your works and watching your career unfold!