How Peter Carey Writes

  • The Wall Street Journal: Do you tend to know where you are going as you write, or do you wander and discover the plot as you go?
  • Peter Carey: There are moments of complete panic in each book. At some stage, you fall of a cliff and you have to sit down and remind yourself what it is and why it can work and why you're writing the book. And it wouldn't be worth it if it wasn't like that.
  • WSJ: Does that kind of approach result in abandoned manuscripts?
  • Peter Carey: No, I won't do it. I always think there's nothing that can't be solved. I used to sit and write to myself: "What is this book about?" "This is a book about this and this and this." "Can somebody write this book?" And I would write, "Yes." "So why don't you do it?"
  • WSJ: You've been mistaken for novelist Ian McEwan on occasion at book parties and literary festivals. Do people ever think he's Peter Carey?
  • Peter Carey: No, it never happens that way.

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