The Millions Interview

February 27, 2015

Empathy Is What Gives You Access: The Millions Interviews John Vaillant 0

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Many Latin American immigrants could tell us stories if we took the time to listen to them. The trouble is, if we did, and we really took these stories in, it would be much harder to rationalize the billions of dollars spent “securing the border” against a conveniently faceless menace.

February 19, 2015

The Possibility of A Voice: The Millions Interviews Joshua Corey 1

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The mechanics of plot and the market-driven expectations that drive most American novels kept me from attempting fiction for a long time.

February 9, 2015

Memory Is a Mysterious Machine: The Millions Interviews Kelly Link 4

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The strengths of a writer also come from said writer realizing how much they suck at certain aspects of writing. Which means you lean hard on the things you can actually figure out how to do. There’s no point in being well rounded.

January 21, 2015

A Box of Powerful Things: The Millions Interviews Miranda July 2

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I’m not ever interested really in people’s parents or their backstory. I mean, some writers — and especially screenwriters — that’s just part of your homework, where everyone’s come from and what their whole psychology is. It just doesn’t get me going.

January 13, 2015

More Stark Than Bleak: The Millions Interviews Richard House 1

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Closure is an artifice, and it’s also the point where a writer can display their moral position or a neatly packaged world view — which is almost always problematic. I don’t read to be instructed, I read to discover and debate and to be challenged.

November 26, 2014

Infinite Grace: The Millions Interviews Caetano W. Galindo 5

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The only man who seemed to be showing us, through all that was modern and new in his literature, a possibility for an old-fashioned answer to the great existential questions that have guided philosophers and writers for ages. And he kills himself. When I heard the news, I turned off my computer and played the piano for an hour or so, trying to empty my mind, or fill it with something else.

November 25, 2014

Just Try and Stop Me: Jane Smiley Sets Her Sights on the American Century 4

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The idea for the trilogy, Smiley says, arose in part out of her fury over the political situation in the U.S. since the Bush Administration and a desire to understand “how the country got where it is today.”

November 13, 2014

Artifacts of the Present: The Millions Interviews Emily St. John Mandel 3

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I’m fascinated by the phenomenon where three people will witness the same event and remember it in three completely different ways. Structuring a book in a non-linear fashion with multiple points of view allows me to revisit the same plot points from completely different angles.

October 29, 2014

‘The Blank Screen Is the Enemy': The Millions Interviews David Mitchell 5

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Realism, when done well, is more fantastical than fantasy.

September 23, 2014

Character Assassin: An Interview with Hilary Mantel 1

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The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher is a horror story for her fans, a fantasy for her detractors. Either way, it’s shocking.