Intervista IN LINGUA ORIGINALE a Julie Buxbaum, autrice di "La teoria imperfetta dell’amore"

Julie Buxbaum gave MRS some inputs about her new book “What to say next”

di Silvia Menini

Pubblicato venerdì, 14 settembre 2018

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Since your first Novel, what did it change in your life and in your way of writing and approaching the readers?
Every single time I sit down to start writing a new book, and I’ve written five of them now, it feels like starting all over again, like I’ve never done this before. The process is always terrifying and new and scary, and I’m starting to suspect it will always feel like that. I haven’t changed my approach that much, but over time, I have learned to trust my instincts more. To realize that this fear is part of the process.  For example, when I’m halfway through writing a novel and it feels like I’ve only accumulated a pile of words that will never amount to an actual book, I’m now able to remind myself that it feels this way every time. That this feeling IS the process.

What does it mean for you being a writer? How your relationship with it changed over years?
Being a writer very much informs how I process the world. I’ve been a full time writer now for more than a decade, and I find that now writing is an essential part of my mental health, not just my profession. When I’m in between books and not writing daily, I’m kind of a monster. I feel terrible for my family, because I’m a much nicer, way more patient person when I get to escape to my fictional world for at least a couple of hours a day.

What’s the difference for you in writing Adult or YA stories?
There is no real qualitative difference for me in the writing process, except for the ages of my characters. The process of getting into the mind of a sixteen year old and a seventy year old and a forty year old is exactly the same. I do tend to focus on firsts in my YA---first love, first loss--more than in my adult fiction, so I guess there is a difference at least thematically.  But teens are incredibly sophisticated readers, so I do not in any way change the level or complexity of my work for my YA audience.

How did you come to writing for teens?
For much of my adult life, I liked to pretend that I wasn't actually a grown up. But then one day, I looked around at my life and I realized I was adulting pretty hard. I had two kids, a husband, a mortgage and a full time job as a novelist. I was on the PTA! And suddenly, I desperately missed being a teenager. I missed that time in my life when the world was wide open and not all of my life’s questions were yet answered. So I decided to revisit being sixteen in my fiction. It’s rejuvenating to get to step into the mind of someone experiencing everything for the first time.

What does Kit represent for David?
Though of course there turns out to be a romantic component to their relationship, I think more than anything else Kit represents human connection for David. She is the first person outside of his family who really seems to understand him and how his brain works.

Love, loss, friendship, love… all these themes are in these book but also the autism which is more and more an actual topic in the modern society. Why you decided to write about it? How did you approach this condition to be able to write about it?
David was the first character to come into my head, and once I realized that he wasn’t neurotypical, I knew I had to stop and do my homework.If I was going to represent someone on the spectrum, I wanted to make sure I did so respectfully and responsibly. And so then I put my pen down, and I did a ton of research. There’s a famous saying that “you meet one person with autism, you meet one person with autism.” Labels can be liberating, but they can also be limiting. With this book, you meet David. Just David. I hope he feels real and fully realized to the reader. But he is not supposed to stand for anything other than who he is.

What would you like readers take from this book?
I wanted to write a story about unexpected connections and finding your tribe. About the wonder of finding an honest and true friend when you feel at your most alone. About the miracle of discovering that special someone who can see you clearly when you feel at your most misunderstood.

What inspired you in writing this Novel?
I loved the idea of writing a story about two people who had pre-conceived notions about who the other was, and then connecting and surprising each other. I started with David’s voice, and then Kit popped into my head as the perfect foil. It was a lot of fun to sit back and just watch what happened as these two wildly different but equally fascinating people got to discover each other.

What’s next?
My next novel is called HOPE AND OTHER PUNCHLINES, and it’s another YA contemporary. This one isabout resilience and reinvention, first love and lifelong friendship, the legacies of loss, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive. It asks the essential question: what does happily-ever-after look like in this beautiful, broken world? This book was really hard to write and took way longer than it was supposed to, but I’m so deeply proud of it. Hopefully, you will get the opportunity to read it one day soon!
Tag:  What to say next, la teoria imperfetta dell'amore, Julie Buxbaum, DeAgostini, sindrome di Asperger, intervista

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