How does Ms. Rendell get inside someone like Mix [the central character]? Well, she has read all of Freud, for one thing. "I have read everything," including all of Proust, said Ms. Rendell, who never attended university. "Reading taught me how to write."
That Proust should be invoked by a mystery writer might seem odd. But Joyce Carol Oates, who also writes mysteries, under the names Lauren Kelly and Rosamond Smith, sees the mystery as a literary form, like the sonnet. "It gives you a certain liberty, working within a structure," she said. It distills language and emotion."
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Dinitia Smith in The New York Times speaks to the prolific and bestselling British author Ruth Rendell as she seeks success in America with her new book, 13 Steps.