Lucy Corin is an American novelist and short story writer. The winner of the 2012 American Academy of Arts and Letters John Guare Writer's Fund Rome Prize, Corin was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship in 2015.Read about Lucy Corin in Wikipedia
You know how some people will say to writers, "Why don't you just write a romance novel that sells a bunch of copies and then you'll have the money to do the kind of writing you want to do"? I always say that I don't have the skills or knowledge to do that. It would be just as hard for me to do that kind of writing as it would be to learn how to do any number of productive careers that I can't manage to make myself do.
So many of the stories are about perspective and viewpoint. It's not just about seeing and revelation. The idea of having many different stories from many different perspectives has something to do with me trying to deal with the impossibility of having a wide enough view to say anything really convincing on that scale.
I think we are living in an era of being hyper-concerned about, Is it us? Because we have this historical awareness. People really want to know: will it be us or our kids or our grandkids to live through this? We don't want it to happen, we don't want to be the ones with the poisoned water, but at the same time, I think there is this curiosity, like, Am I one of the "lucky" ones who gets to be here at the end? That's the tension I'm interested in.
I didn't learn how to read and write until pretty late, and it was this very mysterious, incredible thing, like driving, that I didn't get to do. And then I started writing things down on little scraps of paper and I would hide them. I would write the year on them and then I would stuff them in a drawer somewhere. But I didn't start to really read until about eight. I'm dyslexic, so it took a long time.
I think there is something about being described and having your abilities described as something definable. I was diagnosed at about six, when a teacher couldn't understand how I could be a bright girl and yet couldn't read yet. I did that whole backwards letters thing. I used to sit in the same place when I did homework because I remembered that B's went towards the window and D's went away from it.
I'm a horrible historian. My memory is bad. I read things and then I forget them. I can't understand dates and I can't measure time. Time is confusing to me. That's why I do a lot of manipulations of time in my books, in part because an orderly time is physically difficult for me to conceive of in my brain.
It's a matter of resisting what something made you feel before. And resisting that as a consumer is not easy. I know it isn't for me, and not just when I consume pop culture. When I go into a book and it feels too familiar, I don't have the energy to do it. My whole reason for reading it is to be in a fictive space that is unfamiliar to me.
A lot of times when I ask people what their apocalyptic fantasy life is like, they'll immediately say something like, "Oh, what I think is going to kill us is climate change or World War IV," and that's not what I'm interested in at all. The point is not about winning a bet about what's going to happen. The point is about the human action of examining the possibility, the kind of obsessive imagining about it.
There were a lot of apocalypses that didn't make it into this assemblage because they didn't suit the world. And defining that world and figuring out what its wobbly borders were was a long-term and exhaustive process. I had all of these different ways of categorizing the apocalypses I had made. I had a period of time where I cut them up.
The short story is so much about inevitability and this feeling that things always had to be this one way, and I wanted the apocalypses to blow that idea apart. I hope it feels that way. I hope the book invites people to read the stories in order and then, if they feel like it, maybe not read them in order the next time.
When you have an authority figure tell you something that distinguishes you, there's a little bit of a badge of courage or pride point that comes with it, and also some relief that the grownups actually have an answer for the problem. But, at the same time, there's suspicion and defensiveness, like, Why is the way I do things a problem? Maybe the way you do things is the problem. All of these things come with the very notion that you've been described.