Friday, July 16, 2010

By Fire, By Water

Luke Ford writes:

I just finished reading this terrific new novel by Mitchell James Kaplan.

We talk by phone today.

Luke: “Mitchell, when you were a child, did you want to be a novelist when you grew up?”

Mitchell: “Yes. Certainly from the age of 15 at the latest. Books were my refuge.”

Luke: “Refuge from what?”

Mitchell: “I grew up in the late ’60s, early ’70s. They were my refuge from a dysfunctional world. I think of fiction as a way of approximating truth, a way to try to find something beyond the dysfunction of the world that makes sense.”

Luke: “I heard someone say that art [well, pornography] is a solace from the frustrations of real life.”

“Where did you grow up?”

Mitchell: “My father lived in Beverly Hills. He was a cardiologist at UCLA. My mother lived in Munich, Germany. I went to high school at a boarding school near Santa Barbara called the Cate school. Then I went away to college at Yale. Then I lived in Paris for seven years.”

“Southern California never felt like home to me.”

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