Question: What attracts you to the American city street?
Richard Price: I think writers, no matter how many places you might settle in life, you're always only from one place. For me, that's working-class, outer-borough immigrant-- I grew up in a housing project so that tends to be home for me. When something sort of piques my interest and makes me want to write, I always tend to be gravitating back towards that no matter what and I don't really challenge it anymore. I just go with it. I'm not going to write about the Spanish armada just to show people I'm versatile. If that's where something's telling me to go, I just go and I do the best job I can and hopefully, every time out, I'm writing with a little more nuance and about a different facet about life. But a place is just a place. It's all about the human nature. The only thing anybody ever writes about is trouble. You can find plenty of trouble. But by the same token, if I grew up in the Midwest, I'd probably be writing about farms and Midwestern life. If I was a southerner, I'd be trying to write like some third-rate William Faulkner. If I was from the desert, I'd write like Cormack McCarthy. You go back. You hear it calling to you your whole life no matter where you are.
Recorded On: 3/3/08