Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead's new novel is Zone One. From his Q & A with Alexandra Alter at the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:

Speakeasy: Most of us secretly think that in the face of a massive disaster we could summon the necessary survival skills. How do you think you would make out in a zombie apocalypse?

Mr. Whitehead: I’m used to 24-hour bodegas where you can get whatever you want, so adjusting to a couple of hours of foraging a day would be a little bit of a pain. I probably wouldn’t do very well.

You mentioned you got the idea for this novel from a dream. What was it?

I had house guests out on Long Island, and I woke up and hear them making breakfast and talking and laughing. I think I just wanted to be alone. But of course you can’t just kick people out. So I went back to sleep and had a dream that I wanted to go into my living room, and I was wondering if they had swept the zombies out. I woke up and I go, Oh, I guess in the apocalypse that’s a logistical concern – who’s going to sweep the zombies out when the end of the world has come and you’re rebuilding.

There are some very brisk action scenes, like when Mark Spitz jumps on the hood of a car and guns down 70 zombies. Were you going for a more cinematic feel?

In tackling this kind of story, I wanted to...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue