Bestselling author Lionel Shriver isn't embarrassed to admit that her impulse to write stems from her feelings of social incompetence: "You know that feeling of having had an encounter with someone and later you think what you should have said? Writing is all about being able to rewrite history."

In her recent interview with Big Think, Shriver takes on everything from the guilt she used to feel as a creative writing instructor, to what happens when a work of fiction drives a wedge between the members of a family. Shriver's latest book, "So Much For That," tackles an issue that many Americans grapple with today: healthcare. A problem with the U.S. system, says Shriver, is that we treat dying too much like war. "I like this idea that you can use disease as an opportunity to set the record straight. To break down certain emotional barriers that will always stay up unless you strip away the pretense that there’s always some later time when you can redress things."

Image courtesy Flickr, user qisur.