At the offices of his New York publisher, Carter appears to be fighting another lawyerly battle with the forces of literalism. New England White (Jonathan Cape, £17.99) has just earned two trenchant, mostly positive reviews in The New Yorker and the online journal Slate, the latter commenting on Carter's "painfully cynical perspective on American race relations". Carter serves up a disclaimer about ideas in general as they appear in his fiction. "The opinions expressed by my characters are not necessarily my opinions," he says with a grin which disappears as quickly as a man puts away his wallet in a crowded room. "But I try to create characters who are complete enough, so that they have ideas that – whether you agree with them or not – sound natural".
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
In The Independent, John Freeman talks to American lawyer and best-selling novelist, Stephen L Carter.