The novelist talks to Emma Brockes about friendship, rivalry and being a ’30-year overnight success’Fiction asks a lot of people, says Meg Wolitzer, “to tell them that you need to learn about these characters, to take time out in your day from being frightened for your livelihood and your children, to think about Susan and Bill, who don’t exist. It’s a nervy thing to ask.” She asks it of herself every time she sits down to write – “What fiction ought to do” – and the answer had better be good. “The anxiety makes me a stronger writer.”The Interestings, Wolitzer’s ninth novel, is more ambitious than any she has written so far, tracking a group of friends from the moment they meet, at summer camp, up through the decades of their lives. It has done very well in the US, so that at 54, Wolitzer has become, as a friend joked to her recently, “a 30-year overnight success”. The novel deserves acclaim, but it is a surprising hit, perhaps, given its subject matter and the downbeat nature of the heroine. It is a novel about envy, but not in the grand sense. Rather, it unpicks the insidious resentment that grows …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books