Dennis Lehane is rightly regarded as one America’s great contemporary novelists. His debut novel, A Drink Before The War (1994), featuring the private eye duo Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, was the result, he says, of his being “obsessed with writing about the haves and the have-nots. Mainly the have-nots. I’m obsessed with that battle, if you will, that cultural war. And the place which seemed like a welcome home for those types of obsessions about violence and the social questions, the ills of our time, was crime fiction.For the rest of the interview, clickety-click here …
“I wrote A Drink Before The War so fast that part of me said, ‘Wow, you’ve got a comfort level here that you do not have when you’re trying to write much more overtly literary fiction.’ And then,” he laughs, “I went back to writing overtly literary fiction. But I was thinking more and more about crime fiction, and the next thing I wanted to say, and that became Darkness, Take My Hand . So that’s why I write these stories – it was a way to write about the things that fascinated me the most in our culture, and the crime fiction genre seemed to be tailor-made.”
Dennis Lehane will be in conversation with Declan Hughes at the Irish Writers’ Centre on May 28th.
Dennis will also appear at the Listowel Writers’ Festival on May 29th.