Sam Lipsyte, on falling forward when there’s no fallback
Sam Lipsyte is one of the hottest writers out there right now. He is the author of Venus Drive, The Subject Steve and Home Land, which was a New York Times Notable Book of 2005 and winner of The Believer Book Award. His latest book, The Ask, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in March, 2010. His writing has appeared in Bookforum, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Esquire, GQ and Playboy, among many others, and he’s a former editor of the prominent ‘90’s webzine FEED. He currently teaches fiction at Columbia University.
In the New York Times Book Review, Lydia Millet writes that, “Lipsyte is one of a handful of living American satirists (and when I say ‘handful’ I mean a very tiny hand, with three fingers at most, including the thumb) who can tell a traditional story while remaining foul-mouthed and dirty enough to occupy the literary vanguard.”
And guess what? He’s been interviewed for the site the Days of Yore! Here’s some of what he said:
I was always drawn back to writing, to playing with language, telling stories. I wanted to write because I loved to read, and I wanted to do what the writers of those books had done. I wrote a story when I was fifteen about a middle-aged man having a terrible divorce and recalling his days as high school shot put champion. I actually was a high school shot-putter so I didn’t have to research that part. The rest I had no handle on whatsoever. It was utter crap, but I was hooked. I’d written a lot of science fiction before that, but this was different. I’d stumbled into mid-century American realism! Seemed like two minutes later I was reading post-modern novels, then modernist classics, then back and forward some more. Now a universe began to reveal itself. One book would lead you to the next. One book would support the next, or negate it. You could return to the books you had already read with new eyes. You could love and hate all of this stuff, but the main thing is you started to read as a writer as well as a reader, or even student. You took what you needed, left the carcass behind and kept moving. I didn’t know what the hell was going on, but I was in deep.
For all of what he said, go to: www.thedaysofyore.com
Happy sunshine, and happy inspiration!