You immigrated to Australia in the late 1990’s from rural Wisconsin. Your story in Griffith REVIEW 34: The Annual Fiction Edition, ‘Free Lunch’ takes place in rural Wisconsin – does your writing offer a way to explore place, and where you’ve made a home in the past and your current home in Melbourne?
Homesickness has shaped my writing more than I ever thought possible. I very much miss my family and culture along with the trees and animals of Wisconsin. When I’m casting about for characters or stories, people and places I’ve known well often volunteer. Perhaps it is just plain nostalgia – a longing for my childhood helps me to misremember my struggles and certainly tame the weather – but somehow that place seeps into much of what I write. I have tried to write creative pieces based in Australia, but have rarely felt as if they were successful. As a child, I read to escape where I was from – I’m aware of this irony. So if readers feel as if they’ve experienced Wisconsin through my work, I’d be very pleased.
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