Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christine Schutt

Christine Schutt's new novel is Prosperous Friends.

From her Q & A with Michelle Y. Burke at HTMLGiant:

Burke: One of the things I admire most about your writing is how it sounds. Your sentences are so rich and lyrical. To what extent are you thinking about sound when you’re writing?

Schutt: I do think about sound. What I want to do is wed sound to scene. What comes first is a picture. I’m thinking of the way my new book, Prosperous Friends, begins. I had this idea that there would be a couple in their mid-thirties outside of London, maybe in the Fens, near a priory or a church. I was remembering my own experience at that age, being in those sorts of churches, and the stones, and the moss on the stones, and the coldness of it. I thought about that a lot, and I thought about what the couple was doing. They’re alone. He wants to surprise her and be sexually risky. I wanted to get a sound that would call up or be right for those stones and that place.

Burke: Is that how you start a new novel or story—an image catches your attention and you find the sound from there?

Schutt: Sometimes there’s an image, yes, and the language comes so fast on it. I look at something for a long time and roll over words right to the occasion.

Burke: Is that also true when you’re creating a character? Does the character come from an imagined scene or image?

Schutt: When I was creating one of the characters in Prosperous Friends, I looked at a postcard picture of...[read on]
Visit Christine Schutt's website.

The Page 69 Test: Prosperous Friends.

--Marshal Zeringue