How to pronounce Kate Christensen: (like Christian)
Kate Christensen is the author of numerous novels, including In the Drink, Jeremy Thrane, The Epicure's Lament, and Trouble. The Great Man won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award. She has written reviews and essays for numerous publications, most recently, the New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Tin House, and Elle.
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In two separate interviews, Kate Christensen considers the surprising nature of her characters in The Astral, and she reveals the inspiration behind her sexy tragicomedy, Trouble.
Kate Christensen on The Astral
You write The Astral from the perspective of a 57-year-old male narrator, Harry Quirk. What was it like writing from a different gender?
The Astral is the third novel I've written from a male point of view, so apparently I must enjoy it! Writing from a male perspective is very comfortable for me. Each of my three male narrators is different from the others. Unlike the other two, Harry has raised children, has had a long marriage, and is old enough to feel washed up in his career. Therefore he has few illusions and a realistic sense of who and what he is, which makes him a trustworthy guide to his own story.
The story became more poignant and urgent because I wrote it from Harry's perspective than it would have been if I'd chosen his wife, Luz, or his friend, Marion. In my experience, women are emotionally tougher than men, on the whole, and better able to weather personal crises. The fact that Harry is a man rather than a woman makes him seem more emotionally vulnerable to me. It raises the stakes on his ...
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