Sunday, January 4, 2015

Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins is the author of The Girl on the Train.

From a Q & A at her publisher's website:

A real strength of The Girl On The Train is the realistic depiction of alcoholism. What kind of research did you do to create such a compelling portrait of the disease?

We live in a booze-soaked culture in the UK, so you don’t have to go far to experience the havoc that heavy drinking can wreak. Nor do you always find alcohol dependence in the most obvious of places: there are plenty of high-functioning, successful people who teeter on the brink of the abyss into which Rachel has slipped.

I did some reading on black outs induced by drinking – why they occur in some people and not others and what exactly is happening in the brain when they do occur is not fully understood. I know anecdotally that memory loss is often something which afflicts heavy drinkers, but the interesting thing is that it doesn’t necessarily happen in a uniform or predicable way. In some instances, a drinker’s recall of experience is recoverable, in others, it seems that no memory has been formed at all.

A lot of readers have described the book “as exciting as Gone Girl” – how do you feel about those comparisons?

I am a huge fan of Gone Girl. I thought it was an extraordinary book and in Amy I think Flynn created a character that people will be talking about for years, so to be mentioned in the same breath as that book is a huge compliment as far as I’m concerned. I can see why people draw comparisons, but...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue