I know that you value story above anything else, but [World Gone By] does seem to have themes that pop up over and over again. No good writer sits down and says, “I’m going to write about the theme of death,” and, “I’m going to write about the theme of this and that,” but there are some overwhelming recurrences. One of them is parenting, a question of fathers and sons. I believe you became a father while you were writing this series, right?Learn about Dennis Lehane's five most important books.
Yeah. I entered into The Given Day as the most cynical human being on the planet, and I exited the entire coffin with two children. I have never been an autobiographical writer, but I am always obliquely writing about whatever I’m going through. The last three books I’ve written have been very child-centric, and partially that’s because I’ve got two kids constantly interrupting me while I’m trying to write.
The strange thing about the parent/child story in this book and in Live by Night is it’s a worst-case-scenario story. It’s not happy. If you’re drawing on your own experiences, you certainly translated them into something tragic.
Basically, these men [in these books] should...[read on]