Richard Wright is the author of ten acclaimed novels, including The Age of Longing, Clara Callan, and Adultery. Hes been awarded the Governor General's Literary Award, the Trillium Award and the Giller Prize, and been nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He lives in St. Catharines, Ontario.
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An Interview With Richard B. Wright
Was there any especially challenging aspect of writing letters and diary
entries from the perspective of a woman?
The especially challenging aspect of any novel for me is establishing the main character. Once I have that character's "voice", I feel the book begins to live. I had to imagine what it was like to be a woman like Clara in the 1930s. But that's what novelists do -- imagine what it's like to be someone else. The letters and diary entries seemed a natural way to tell her story.
Clara Callan is set in the 1930s. What kind of research did you do to make this era so vivid?
I read a great deal about the period, and I remember things my parents had said about the 1930s. It's always been a special interest of mine and the period has always seemed to me to be a pivotal decade in the last century.
In this novel, characters seem concerned with their own sexual morality. Is this a function of the era or the nature of small towns?
Yes, this is a function of the nature of small towns where everyone is concerned (and were more concerned 70 years ago) with personal reputation. Our tolerance for more liberal sexual attitudes nowadays is very new in North American ...
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