Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The DNA of Literature

Paris Review DNA of Literature is an online collection of interviews from the 1950s onward. You can search by author, or by decade. It is a treasure trove. The 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s are complete, the 1980s interviews are being completed. For the 1990s up to today there are only snippets.

Here's Andrea Barrett interviewed by Elizabeth Gaffney in 2003


You said you didn’t go home much for twenty years. Your books contain quite a few lost parents, separated siblings, adoptions. Does any of that derive from your own life story?


Writers tend to guard themselves from perceiving that kind of thing, but even I can see themes in my work. But it’s not an autobiography; it’s metaphor. I’m not adopted. Nobody in my family that I’m aware of was adopted, and my family is actually large, blended, and complicated. But that longing and that sense of absence and fragmentation are perhaps other ways of expressing the actualities of my family. Different facts, same emotions.

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