Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Interview: Lindsay Hunter

And even then, for the majority of grad school, I labored over a plodding bore of a novel, I tried to write long short stories that went anywhere at all, I farted out some poems. I still couldn’t trust myself. I remember thinking, “I don’t deserve to call myself a writer.” I was carrying all these rules with me that I’d been told in undergrad, things like “You can’t write from an animal’s point of view.” “You can’t write from a dead person’s perspective.” “Every story must have an easily identifiable narrative arc.” I recited these for an advisor, the poet Dan Beachy-Quick, who gently stopped me and said, “Lindsay, you can write whatever the fuck you want.”

Slowly, that sunk in. Towards the end of grad school, I had this amazing semester where I had a class about writing in Chicago, and another class about avant garde detective fiction, and another class about writing with constraints. One morning before class I sat down at my desk and didn’t think, I just typed. I read what I’d written to my class, and they liked it, and I didn’t even care, because I liked it. It was mine. It felt real. And that story is the first story in Daddy’s. My process today is pretty identical to that first early morning: I start with a sentence, and I follow it like a road.