Tom Drury is the author of six astounding novels. Three - his masterpiece The End of Vandalism, Hunts in Dreams and Pacific - are set in the same fictional Grouse County area of Iowa - Drury's home-state. ----more----
We met the day after The End of Vandalism was relaunched in the UK, in an Earls Court flat next door to Hattie Jacques' former residence. We began by discussing the forthcoming film of his 2006 book The Driftless Area, which Drury adapted himself. Having talked about the ways writing for the screen differed from writing for the page, we moved onto:
ideas of what is essential and inessential in Drury's stories
collaboration in film and fiction
the solitariness of being a writer
the economics of writing fiction
working for Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Drury's former career as a journalist
dialogue and how people speak
'People answer questions that haven't been asked, and don't answer questions that have been asked...'
how Dan Norman from The End of Vandalism talks
Louise Darling, priests, God and attraction
'God is like having an imaginary friend'
returning to his beginnings and The End of Vandalism's 21st birthday
Drury's 'GrouseCounty' series
the past and the present in smalltown America
from conversation to spareness - the evolution of Drury's style
With The End of Vandalism, I really got into letting them speak'
'Why is this bucket in the yard?'
'Dowel rods I always found kind of humorous'
'Grouse County', Iowa and the place of place in Drury's work
Drury's childhood in Swaledale, Iowa
Drury's childhood reading
reading, escapism and 'the world beyond' Iowa
'Practically everything lay outside my experience'
London, Berlin and Drury's return to Mason City, Iowa
how has the real 'Grouse County' changed?
the Bookmobile and why Drury wanted to be a writer
'Books are so important we are going to send out a truckful of them'
the slow erosion of rural America
Drury, Bob Dylan and the grain elevator
'And you think there is no excitement in that landscape.'