Monday, April 4, 2011

Kate Jennings on writing Snake

Kate Jennings
I wrote my novel Snake through two long winters at the beginning of the nineties out on Long Island. Low grey skies, the angry Atlantic. No distractions from re-imagining life on an Australian farm in the fifties.

When I began, I remember thinking “The world doesn’t need another dysfunctional family or coming-of age novel.” But most of those books were from the perspective of one person: the self-justifying writer-as-child. It was important for me to be even-handed, to present this family from the point of view of all the protagonists. It was also important to me not to write a feminist tract – this was a time when feminists were presenting mothers as nurturing and women in general as somehow innately morally superior. Arrant nonsense, of course. Some mothers are good, some middling, some appalling.