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On the Ideas Behind the Stories

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“I suppose I’ve never set out to write a novel
in which nothing happens…only to write a novel about the lives of certain
characters. That nothing “happens” in their lives is beside the point to me; I’m
still interested in how they live, and think and speak, and make some sense of
their own experience. Incident (in novels and in life) is momentary, and
temporary, but the memory of an incident, the story told about it, the meaning
it takes on or loses over time, is lifelong and fluid, and that’s what
interests me and what I hope will prove interesting to readers. We’re deluged
with stories of things that have happened, events, circumstances, actions, etc.
We need some stories that reveal how we think and feel and hope and dream.”

-Alice
McDermott, Off the Page(edited by
Carole Burns)

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