I’ve been reading Christine Sneed’s fiction- she has a novel (Little Known Facts) and a short story collection (Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry– the most spectacular of titles). Her stories are dense and quickly moving and smooth, and they’re about desire and crooked relationships and other impossible things. Here’s part of her interview at the Plougshares Blog, about her characters and marriage.
“I realized later that a lot of the characters aren’t particularly worried about marriage, or they’re divorced. And that’s certainly my bias. Because I’ve never been married and I’ve never really wanted to get married, and I realize this is sort of atypical for a heterosexual female in middle-class America. But people don’t often examine why they want to get married. To me, it’s kind of scary when you start thinking about it.
I think I just naturally like writing about people who aren’t married. Married life is complicated, and I’ve certainly written about a lot of divorced characters, but I just don’t know if it’s really possible to be completely content like we’re told that we should be when we’re married.
Some of these stories—and the novel, the polyandry novel—were written after I read Laura Kipnis’s book Against Love. I don’t know if you’ve read it, or if you know her work, but she is just brilliant, and she is funny and she is so outrageous, and people I think probably hate her because she says things that no one wants to face. And this book Against Love is so smart. She writes about how society is geared towards monogamy and straight marriage because it makes the economy work better. And it’s simply impossible to assume you’re going to be happy with one person for your entire life, and that they can fulfill every role—like they can be your friend, your lover, your accountant, and you know, your helpmate, and all these things that we need other people for. She makes some really sterling points that I think are very commonsensical, but they’re also a bit frightening.”