I like to analyze my drafts the way I would analyze a script, trying on each character and asking: What do I want? What are my obstacles? What tactics am I applying, and how do these tactics change throughout the story? How do I justify/defend my actions, especially the morally dodgy ones? What is my worldview?
While certain authors have definitely fuelled my wanderlust (especially South Asian writers), I haven’t gone on any literary pilgrimages per se—at least not yet. Although, after my undergrad I flew over to the UK to meet my friend Helen for a road trip. We drove her little car all around England, up to Edinburgh and over to Ireland, the entire time hauling around my 10lb copy of Ulysses so that I could pose with it outside the James Joyce house, haha. And by ‘we drove’ I mean her. I am a super anxious driver, so mostly I fed her avocado and focused on trying to navigate (also not one of my strengths).
Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. Written in the 1920s, We pre-dates Brave New World by a decade and Nineteen Eighty-Four by almost thirty years, and but it seems to be comparatively less well known in North America.
Have another question for Tanya Lee? Submit it here!