ROGER BIRNBAUM: I read a fair number of mysteries and rarely care about whatever the purported mystery is. In this story you did a great job of keeping me guessing about who the perpetrator is.UPDATE: To Charlie Rose he sez: "A crime is a lazy man's way to a plot."
RICHARD PRICE: I think that was on purpose.
RB: (Laughs) Right, but many times writers aren't successful.
RP: I don't consider myself a mystery writer. It's just a convenience, following a police investigation. It is a built-in structure and I'm kind of spacey when it comes to running a tight ship. So, I found that by following an investigation it gives you an automatic framework upon which you can drape anything you want to explore in human nature. Plus, I write about life at the urban, entrenched level.
RB: So-called "urban realism."
RP: I don't know what it's called. Kitchen-sink realism. Or magic social realism. Or social magic realism. But anyway, on one level it's a mystery and one level I have to keep you guessing. But it's not really the thing I am, primarily. It's more like a "why dunnit" than a "who dunnnit." Somebody said about mystery books, it's the only genre in which the reader is trying very hard to make the writer fail. By getting there before the writer wants them to. It's good that you didn't know, I guess. Some people said they knew, but I don't believe them.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
at 2:14 PM