Jim Shepard is an author of a different breed–an awesome breed. This Fall, we engaged Shepard in a crossfire round.
On your mark…
Are there some parts of history, or human situations that you find yourself shying away from in writing out of sheer bafflement?
Routinely. There are all sorts of periods and regions and situations that seem objectively fascinating but emotionally oblique to me.
What is a story you find yourself telling over and over even though you can’t actually understand its significance?
That’s called any story I’m writing. I’m not sure why I’m writing what I’m writing until I’m well into the process, and sometimes not even then. I’m not declaiming so much as exploring.
Do you ever have the desire to hunt down the person who is responsible for a way of thinking that we still embrace today, and to ask them a series of questions?
Ha! In the case of some of our own national mythologies, I often have the desire to hunt those people down and do more than just ask them questions.