It just took some people a little longer than others to realize how few words they needed to get by, how much of life they could negotiate in silence.
When I was writing 'The Abstinence Teacher,' I really tried to immerse myself in contemporary American evangelical culture.
I don't really distinguish between sympathy and honesty when I'm writing. The two go together - I'm interested in inhabiting my characters, seeing the world through their eyes.
I think I'm fascinated by the power of religion in our culture. Like a lot of secular, liberal people, I ignored it for a long time. Lately, of course, just from a political perspective, it's impossible to ignore.
I have actual dreams of Bruce Springsteen calling me up on stage to wear a bandanna and play rhythm guitar next to Little Steven.
I read 'The Great Gatsby' in high school and was hypnotized by the beauty of the sentences and moved by the story about the irrevocability of lost love.
I've been a little bit obsessed with religion, without being a religious person, for about a decade.
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