All of your books have been set in suburbia. Why is it such a compelling setting for you and do you think you’ll ever get tired of it?Learn about Tom Perrotta's ten favorite books.
It’s just laziness. This is what’s right in front of me. I’ve chosen to live there. I’ve never been the kind of writer who goes off in search of a book. There would be a crisis for me if I felt like I’d exhausted all the stories. You have somebody like Roth who was writing about Newark over the course of 50 years. Cheever wrote about the suburbs for pretty much his whole career. The only crisis is if the stories become repetitive.
This is your first short story collection since your debut collection, “Bad Haircut,” which came out almost 20 years ago. What drew you back to short fiction?
I edited “The Best American Short Stories” [anthology] last year. Sometimes reading a lot can be paralyzing, but for some reason it energized me to write stories.
In the meantime you’ve written six novels since your first collection came out. Do you find short stories harder to write than novels?
It’s more difficult in the sense that...[read on]