Margo Lanagan Interview

Jeff Vandermeer interviews Margo Lanagan for "Clarkesworld" magazine as her new novel, Tender Morsels, hits the bookshops.

To what extent does living in Australia influence your fiction? Some would claim that when you write fantasy the place in which you live is at best expressed in your fiction indirectly...

This is a big, rich question. In terms of Tender Morsels...Well, I was just about to say, this is not Australia, this is some kind of fairytale Eastern Europe, but in fact you don't have to look very hard at this book to find the kind of boofhead male behaviour Australia has something of a reputation for, so maybe my homeland is making itself felt that way. Then you could start drawing all sorts of parallels about St Olafred's being the centre of commerce and politics and power and Liga's cottage being all isolated and remote down there in the valley -- but then you'd be getting silly. I don't know that this is a question that can be answered from the inside. There are some US readers who say they can see a characteristic 'Australian-ness' in my stories, but I don't really know what they're talking about. People tend to fixate a little on this, and spot Australianisms where they don't exist; for example, assuming that any strange turn of phrase they encounter is something characteristically Australian, when in fact, you know, I'm a writer, I make things up. Or that any dark-skinned person in a story is Aboriginal; generally my dark-skinned people are just dark-skinned people.

Tender Morsels
publisher's page.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 3, 2008 2:17 PM.

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