Robin Black Interview

Robin Black, 今年的玛格丽特·麦格林小说奖的最终评委, 也是《hg888皇冠》2016“推动hg888皇冠”大会的主讲人, seemed to burst, fully formed, 随着她的短篇小说集的hg888皇冠,她在全国文坛掀起了波澜, If I loved You, I Would Tell You This. The book earned Black rave reviews, comparisons to Alice Munro, 人们一致认为,一个重要的新的文学声音刚刚出现——基本上是不知道从哪里冒出来的.

Literary cognoscenti in Philadelphia knew otherwise, for Black, who’s lived here all her adult life, and raised her family here, 多年来,她一直在当地的写作团体中平静而坚定地走着自己的道路, creating for herself, 在获得沃伦·威尔逊低驻地创作项目的艺术硕士学位之前和之后, a loyal and supportive writing community. Nobody who knew Black then was surprised when, in 2008, in an event as rare as the sighting of a white peacock, 布莱克的11篇短篇小说集在纽约各大hg888皇冠商之间引发了一场竞购战,而著名的兰登书屋最终胜出.

A bidding war for a story collection by an unknown writer! Incredible!

Four years later, Black, 接下来是《hg888皇冠》和她光彩夺目的小说《hg888皇冠手机版》, an unflinching and fraught examination of a long marriage, damaged by infidelity; threatened from both within and without. Like If I Loved You, Life Drawing garnered stellar reviews, international publication, and enviable sales, 因此证实了评论家的预言,即布莱克是一个重要的新文学声音.

“我绝不是一个随意的作家,”布莱克最近在接受《hg888皇冠》(Philadelphia Stories)采访时说. 布莱克描述的过程很像路易丝·迪沙佛在她的同名书中所阐述的, The Art of Slow Writing. “Often stories take me many years,” says Black, 她注意到她有几十个未完成的故事在不同的硬盘上. “And I revise endlessly…every word is considered many times.” Like Munro, Black completes only one or two stories a year. She spent four years on a novel that she eventually trashed. But the final story she wrote for her collection, A Country Where You Once Lived, 就像小说一样复杂而多层次,她只花了八个月的时间. “That was short!” she said.

对布莱克来说,故事“通常始于对一个有趣情景的随机思考. Or about a dilemma someone might find themselves in. The truth is, at the time I start typing, I am working with next to nothing, 通常情况下,最初的火花在故事完成之前就消失了.”

布莱克最近的成功对她来说是一个“大器晚成者”.直到抚养完三个孩子后,她才开始hg888皇冠. In an essay in Crash Course, her just published collection of craft and personal essays, she describes a 15-yearlong period, from 1987 to 2001, 在此期间,她不仅不写作,也不读小说. Reading fiction, she theorized in the essay, “became too painful to me, too much of a reminder of what I’d been unable to do.回想起来,她意识到自己并没有放弃“读小说的乐趣”,因为她有“一屋子的孩子”,还有许多必须打理家庭的责任, but more likely because she had, at that time, abandoned her deepest ambition, writing books. By the time Black finally turned to writing seriously, 她被“成为一个落伍作家的担忧”所困扰. 我知道我的作品……既不前卫,也不,在最明显的意义上,不合常规. These worries slowed me down.”

对她来说,一个“转折点”的故事,也是她最喜欢的故事之一,是 Immortalizing John Parker, a 34-page tour de force meditation on identity, love and betrayal, loss and forgiveness, as experienced by a septuagenarian painter, Clara. 她受人委托为一位可能会滑向痴呆症的老人画像. “He’s lost and growing more lost by the moment,” Clara thinks while pondering the ‘dullness’ of his face. 她希望这幅画的眼睛所展示的,是一个迷失的男人.”

Black says she wrote Immortalizing John Parker “出于一种自我接受的精神……在写那个故事的早期,我明确地允许自己与内心深处的65岁英国女人沟通。.” That story taught her, she says, 她必须讲她必须讲的故事,必须用她自己的方式讲. “We are who we are, which means we write what we write.

Such turning points, the writer wrestling with subject matter and style, Black notes, “may have to be engaged over and over and over again.” Salvation or, at least satisfaction, 来自“意识到你是在为那些喜欢你的作品、与你相关并对你的作品做出积极回应的人写作。, and emphatically not 努力让每一个读者都喜欢你的作品, believing it, helps a lot, though the fantasy of universal love is a sneaky one, and a resilient one too.”

和门罗一样,布莱克很少远离家乡和家庭生活. “I never set out to center my stories around the home, but that’s where I was then, 我不是那种能以那种方式触及自己经历之外的作家.”

Black’s abiding fascination with marriage, she says, is “ a subset of a fascination with all relationships. But maybe what interests me most about marriage, and not only between a man and a woman, is the free will …you can’t choose your family. 但是你选择你的配偶——有时不止一个, if the first choice, or the second, is wrong.”

Many writers are smart about romantic relationships, 但很少有人能像布莱克在考虑婚姻问题时所表现出的罕见智慧:“任何在这方面干过几年的人都会告诉你, it’s not always easy. All relationships change over time. One party may change dramatically, but in the traditional marriage model, 这并不会导致亲密程度或关系的基本结构发生变化. 这意味着在hg888皇冠手机版成长的过程中,婚姻对hg888皇冠手机版提出了很多要求. 它要求hg888皇冠手机版适应伴侣的变化,也要求hg888皇冠手机版根据伴侣的需求平衡自己的变化.”

她还指出,婚姻是一种“只有一个人”的关系, generally agreed-upon form of disloyalty: sexual straying. 很难想象hg888皇冠手机版之间还有哪段关系有着如此明显而独特的无法跨越的界限. For literary purposes, 这也是为什么背叛故事(我的小说也是)如此吸引人去写的原因之一. 在传统的一夫一妻制婚姻中,存在着一种普遍存在的危机. So what happens if that line is crossed?”

《hg888皇冠手机版》和《hg888皇冠手机版》中的几个故事都在关注“不忠之后会发生什么”. 布莱克面临的挑战是写一个关于这个古老而普遍的故事的“新故事”. “你如何做到既不将婚姻的概念浪漫化,又不诋毁它呢??” she asks rhetorically. The answer can be read in her stories and her novel.

直到布莱克研究生院读到一半, and had had a few published pieces, that she began to think of herself as a writer. “But in retrospect I was wrong. 那时我已经当了好几年作家了,因为我一直在写作. 像许多人一样,我感到不安全,并在我自己的承诺之外寻找某种对这个词的官方权利. But I believe strongly that everyone who writes, who devotes themselves to it in whatever time they have, who cares about it, is a writer.”

Her recent publishing successes notwithstanding, 布莱克说,到目前为止,她最有价值的职业经历就是教书. “It is a wonder to have books published and have them read, 当一篇评论成为一场狂欢时,这是令人惊讶的——而不是每次都发生, for sure! But there is nothing like getting to teach. The pleasure of helping people who so, so want to get better at this, understand a new concept, or take a leap forward in their work, is just incomparable.”


Julia MacDonnell’s second novel, Mimi Malloy, At Last! 是由Picador在2014年hg888皇冠的,并得到了国内媒体的广泛好评. 平装本和德语版于2015年hg888皇冠. 她的第一部小说《hg888皇冠》由威廉姆·莫罗hg888皇冠 & Co. Julia is the nonfiction editor of Philadelphia Stories.