I’m wondering about the process of writing “Zero K.” Because, unlike some of your novels, it doesn’t revolve around specific historical events—in fact, if anything, it’s futuristic—it didn’t require a lot of archival research. Did that make the writing easier, or more challenging? How long have you been working on the book?
There was a certain amount of scientific material that I had to look into, but I made it a point to keep this aspect of the work within strict limits. The rest was pure imagination—the characters, of course, but also the setting of much of the novel. And, along with the perennial challenge of new work, there was an element of pleasure (this may be too bubbly a word) in exploring fresh territories.
Counting some unavoidable interruptions, I worked on the book for nearly four years. I have trouble accepting this number, particularly since this is a novel of average length. Why so prolonged an effort? My only response is that this is what the novel wanted and needed. [Read the Full Interview]