Timothy Willis Sanders on Why It’s Difficult to Write From a Child’s Perspective
In Conversation with Brad Listi on Otherppl
Timothy Willis Sanders is the guest. His new short story collection, Modern Massacres, is out now from Publishing Genius.
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From the episode:
Brad Listi: It’s called Modern Massacres, and each of these stories seems to be about a death. Or at least some sort of threat of destruction. I’m always looking for what the overarching statement of a story collection is, and I feel like this collection has death on its brain. Am I wrong?
Timothy Willis Sanders: You’re absolutely right. If there was a common theme throughout the book, it is anxiety and the fear of things falling apart.
Brad Listi: And childhood. A lot of these are childhood stories.
Timothy Willis Sanders: Yeah, writing about being a child or writing from a child’s perspective is really, really hard.
Brad Listi: Why is it hard?
Timothy Willis Sanders: There’s a language that I have access to now that I didn’t have access to as a kid. So telling a story from a child’s perspective, or viewing things from a child’s perspective, is a challenge. I don’t know if I pulled it off, but it felt okay to me. There is a sort of naïveté and an innocence that’s really difficult to capture in terms of the way children see the world overall.
Timothy Willis Sanders is the author of the story collection Modern Massacres from Publishing Genius. Modern Massacres is Timothy Willis Sanders’s third book and second collection of short stories. In the vein of Orange Juice (his first collection with PGP, from 2010), stories like “John Lennon,” “Officer Walter,” and “Glasses” examine contemporary life in a familiar, canny way. Humorous and full of keen observations, Sanders writes with care and respect for his characters, from the innocent kids to the flawed adults, all of whom are looking for connection and approval—or at least some kindness in a world that isn’t always easy to live in.