I am very interested in how stories and novels can transport, and transport absolutely. I’m very much a believer in John Gardner’s notion that fiction writers stitch together dreams, and that we don’t want to unconsciously break those dreams and wake our readers up. So I spend lots and lots of energy trying to make my sentences as sensual and grounded and seamless as they can be. And the best way to do that–the best way to transport a reader into another place, another life–is through moment-by-moment sensory detail: through the mouth and the nose, as Mc put it. The path to the universal, I tell my students, is through the individual. You reach for the stars by playing in the gravel.
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