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MT: Or what about My Struggle? Like, "Hi I'm a dude and I'm going to write an eight volume memoir." Oh my God! I mean I think I actually like his writing very much, but just the entitlement! Can you imagine if I wrote eight memoirs and called it My Struggle?
MS: That's an interesting problem to have it seems. If you've already been doing it, right, when you've been working on a memoir, or it comes more naturally when you're working on a memoir, but when you switch over into fiction and you start second guessing your decisions more, or there's maybe different stakes involved... I'm wondering if you could talk about that more.
MT: I think that a big impetus for me writing a memoir was that I wanted to tell the truth, like I want it to be authentic, I want it to tell the truth. Because I felt like my particular experience, I hadn't been published a lot—it felt very political, it felt very meaningful. And so I had this sort of reality fetish and so then moving into fiction, I kind of brought that with me a little bit. And since then, I've realized—I mean, you still need to make things believable but I actually don't need to—I'm also creating this world because I'm saying its like it and I'm the writer. I don't have to—someone's not going to read it and be like "I don't know, the quality of light seems weird in that scene. I'm having a hard time believing that this would actually happen." (Audience laughs.) I mean, it's fiction! You can actually have ridiculous things happen. And, ideally, if it's compelling in some way, the reader will follow you. So, I've kind of loosened up a little bit with that.
And for course, she is my dead alcoholic father. You know, you have an animal—(audience laughs)—and they're never just your cat, you know, it's Napolean or... And my pitbull, when I got Rosie, I just looked in her eyes—and my dad died when I was 11, and he's kind of a fetish in my whole dream story—and when I looked in the dog's eyes, I was like "It's dad!" And he would totally come back as my dog and hang out for twenty years or whatever. So it was just so easy to then write a chapter "My Father came again as a dog," and then start talking about how people come back as dogs, and who dogs are, and what creation is, and suddenly, you're just in this whole...
MT: Yes, finally! Eileen finally wrote a memoir! (Audience laughs.) Yeah!