My fiction seems to fall into two broad categories: the realistic, and the quite recognizably imagined.
Some of the more wildly imagined stories have come when something was surfacing in me that I could not yet comprehend. After the first spark, these have come laboriously. Others have arrived when I latched onto a character’s voice and let it fly, often converting into fiction what might be a straightforward rant, carrying the voice of complaint to its most extreme and sometimes absurd position.
Realism has been my home for my awareness and love for the physical world, for light, weather, shapes, smells, sound, and movement: for those things, if I were a painter, that I would attend to with brush, color, stroke, or if a dancer, with the body and music. I love doubly savoring the sensual world by rendering it again through words.
Realism is how I have told those stories that I recognize as at the heart of my life. It is the form I’ve used most for grappling with relationships, injustice, death, sex, sorrow, longing, guilt, love, betrayal, anguish, joy. It is the form through which I’ve tried to understand those events or people or institutions that have hurt or perplexed or haunted me most. I’m interested in courage and the lack of it, the ability to speak up and the inability. I’m interested in people’s choices, in breaking through boundaries of self, or of not being able to do so, in growth within and between people, and for that reason, I’m interested in the classic model of the realistic story, in which there is a turning point, a climactic moment, a decision or insight, and change.