Monday, April 21, 2014
By TOM ATWELL
(Continued from page 1)
SEE THE AUTHOR
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Space Gallery 538 Congress St., Portland
HOW MUCH: Free
It is how some people start their lives over again and some people diverge. Some people resume the lives they have been living, and some go into an entirely different direction.
The event of the sudden departure is not the subject of this book. The subject of the book is how people start their lives after this trauma.
Q: I haven't read your earlier books, but I have read that they have been comic novels. So "The Leftovers" was quite a shift.
A: I think moving away from the comic has been going on for a while. When people talk about comic novels they are the early novels, like "Election" in 1998, and "Wishbones" in 1997 and "Joe College" in 2000. But once I got to "Little Children" in 2004, it was still funny but a serious and dark subject matter.
"The Leftovers" is a shift because it turned out to be so much about grief and loss.
Q: Are you working on your next book yet, or are you too busy on the HBO project?
A: I'm working on a collection of short stories. Some of them had been written over the years, but now when I have time to write fiction, I work on a short story.
Q: Is that unusual? I thought most writers start with short stories and then do novels.
A: I wrote my first book, "Bad Haircut," as a collection of linked short stories. I have written short stories over the years in between novels, so it is not something that I had abandoned. But my short stories tend to be long. I lack the ability of compression that short story writers have.
Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at: