I think that there’s a reluctance in all writers in early stages of their development to really commit themselves to trust their interests as being actually focused on things that are interesting. To realize that they do not have to talk in the same dialect that is being talked around them, in terms of literary convention and all the rest of it.
I’ve written books called Housekeeping and Home. (…) You can look at things however microscopically and understand that there’s metonymy for the cosmos. But if you’re actually concerned with them in the little, that feels like horrible captivity to me. I just can’t stand it. I don’t like the novel-of-manners thing. If it doesn’t open on something larger, I get claustrophobic almost immediately.
What’s an ideal day for you?
Aha! Rare. It’s generally when I have no demands being made of me—of any kind. And then I can sit on my couch and worry over a paragraph until lunch. And then sit back down on the couch and worry about the paragraph until supper. Sometimes I like to work in my very neglected garden. In any case, that’s basically it. I usually have a book or two that I’m reading. I have a book or two that I’m writing. I like to be at home and have on my slovenly clothes.
The bathrobe is a wonderful institution.