Purpose & Intent (Vicariously Stated)

HEMPEL
[…] Writers like Raymond Carver, Barry Hannah, Mary Robison. These were the three who had the most effect on me, when I started.

INTERVIEWER

What about their work interested you?

HEMPEL

They didn’t sound like anyone else I had read. For me, they redefined what a story could be — the thing happening off to the side of a story other writers were telling; they would start where someone else would leave off, or stop where someone else would start. As Hannah said later in Boomerang, a lot of people have their overview, whereas he has his “underview,” scouting “under the bleachers, for what life has dropped.”

— Excerpted from Paul Winner’s interview with Amy Hempel for the Paris Review.

“…the thing happening off to the side of a story…” — that’s where you’ll find me.

“…under the bleachers…” — it’s where I grew up.

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