If you have any doubts about the power of the novel, or its lasting cultural significance, or its transcendent ability to deepen and enrich our chaotic earthly experiences, look no further than this impassioned conversation at The Believer between two of our most exciting novelists, Colum McCann and Alexander Hemon.
Alexander Hemon: “I want a book to contain a world—indeed the world. Writing is my main means of engagement with the world and I want the scars of that engagement to be left in the language.
I write and read with the assumption that literature contains knowledge of human experience that is not available otherwise. Rilke said that art can come only out of inner necessity. I write because I must. Or because I cannot not write. Danilo Kiš said that he started writing only after he overcame his disgust with literature. . .”