Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Q&A with Sigrid Nunez

Sigrid Nunez is the author of the new novel The Friend. Her other books include The Last of Her Kind and Salvation City, and her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times and The Paris Review. She has taught at Princeton and Columbia, among other universities, and she lives in New York City.

Q: Why did you decide to focus on the bond between a person and a dog in your new novel, The Friend?

A: As an animal lover, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of writing stories in which an animal has an important role. I had fun writing Mitz, a fictional biography of Virginia Woolf’s pet marmoset, and I always hoped to write about an animal again sometime.

I’m also a great believer in the power of the human-animal bond, especially the human-canine bond. It seemed like a subject well worth exploring.

Q: What do you think the book says about grief and mourning?

A: That’s a huge question. It took me a whole book to say what I think, or even just part of what I think about grief and mourning, and I can’t possibly give a short answer here.

Q: Why did you decide not to name your human main character (yet the dog does have a name)?

A: This wasn’t a decision I made beforehand. It was something that came with the writing. Any time I thought about inventing a name for the first-person narrator it struck a false note and I knew I couldn’t use it.

Q: Your main character teaches writing, as you have done. Did your own experiences factor into the creation of this character?

A: My own experience as a writing teacher certainly informs the novel, but far more is invented than is taken directly from life.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’ve started a new novel. I’m not ready to give any specific details about it yet. I just hope it flies.

--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Sigrid Nunez.

No comments:

Post a Comment