Stephanie Danler's new novel is Sweetbitter.
From the transcript of her interview with NPR's Rachel Martin:
MARTIN: So let's talk about sex.Visit Stephanie Danler's website.
DANLER: Yeah, I'd love to.
MARTIN: Let's (laughter).
DANLER: I love to write about it, I love to talk about it.
MARTIN: So talk to me about how you figured out technically how to write a good literary sex scene.
DANLER: Oh my God, I love that question. So yes, sex is the undercurrent of the whole book because what we're really investigating are Tess' appetites across the board and also her becoming more of a woman, this transition from girlhood to womanhood. And sex is a big part of that - or figuring out lust and desire.
So I knew I wanted - it was essential to the novel that I write a sex scene. And you have all of these technical choices as a writer, which is, am I going to fade to black? What kind of language am I going to use? Like, how far am I going to go with this? And there were drafts in which I went much further.
MARTIN: Where are those?
DANLER: Oh, God.
DANLER: There'll be another novel down the line. You'll know. You'll know when you see them. And then I went back and I thought, what is true of Tess' voice? This entire book is in the first person. You have this 22-year-old girl. And what is true of her voice? What matches her experience? Sometimes...[read on]