NPR’s Web site has an extended excerpt from Nathaniel Rich‘s debut novel, The Mayor’s Tongue, a book I very much admired. In a related interview, Rich notes how he wrote the novel in secret, which may have encouraged the strangeness that infuses its pages:
“I thought maybe, because I wasn’t talking about it … the book itself was getting crazier and crazier and crazier and going into some strange part of my mind — because it wasn’t being exposed to an outside reader who might inject some kind of logicality into it,” Rich says.
“I spent a long time reducing the craziness factor to a more manageable … amount,” he says. “I was the first through 12th reader.”
Interviewer Rick Kleffel has a longer chat with Rich about the novel on his Web site.