Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Where to Start and How to Let Go

The latest issue of The Believer features an interview with Richard Price, which is available in its entirety online. (Price was also famously featured on the first episode of Titlepage.)

Early in the interview, Price says of his new novel, Lush Life:
For me—for this book—the Lower East Side is the main character. The whole point was: how do I write about the Lower East Side in a way that hasn’t been done before? I mean, you can’t write about it historically. It’s probably the most well-documented literary-historical neighborhood in the world. Guys got off the boat, the first thing they did was write a novel about getting off the boat.
Later, he talks about the process of letting the manuscript go:
With this book, I saved the editor for the end, but when I had to turn it in, it wasn’t a submission, it was an intervention. He had to come to the house and it was there on my computer and he had to sit next to me and talk very softly, like, “Come on, just push the send button, just push the send button,” and I’m like, “But I don’t understand the transition between the cop and the synagogue….” “Oh, that’s OK, we’ll work on it, come on, just push the send button.”
In between, he talks about the difference between writing novels and screenplays, procrastination, and the joys of good dialogue. Read the whole thing.


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