Sometimes I thought about the book as a series of inside jokes with myself. When I was writing the first draft, I was reading a lot of Kurt Vonnegut. His book Slapstick has a prologue in which he compares the novel to a joke that he wrote as a gift to himself, to help him cope with the death of his sister. That’s not to say that he didn’t take the writing seriously, because to write several hundred pages you have to take yourself pretty seriously. But to take anything seriously, especially if it involves bearing something painful, you have to also find the absurdity and the humor in it.
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