Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chuck Palahniuk

From Chuck Palahniuk's Q & A with Euan Ferguson at the Observer:

Rather than your usual homeland settings of the Portland/Seattle area, your latest, Damned, is set a little further afield – in Hell. And you write in the voice of a 13-year-old girl. An easy job?

It sucked. It was absolutely a misery because I was writing the book while taking care of my mother who was dying of cancer. On her medication she became much more herself as a child; a child I never would have known. I was playing in effect the role of parent. It was a terrible time and perhaps that's why Madison's such a glib person. She's covering up a bunch of horrible circumstances and pain.

I thought Madison, your antiheroine, was more resilient than glib.

Well, yes, maybe. I needed to express somehow my grief at having then lost both of my parents [Palahniuk's father, Fred, and his girlfriend were murdered in 1999 by her ex-husband] and I knew that would not make a very entertaining or particularly funny book, so I inverted the situation and made it this very plucky dead child, who could mourn her parents while they were still on Earth – but still...[read on]
Damned is on the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five books on hell.

--Marshal Zeringue