Garth Greenwell on Being a Mystery to Yourself

July 10, 2020 | 1 book mentioned

At Guernica, Garth Greenwell discusses his new book, Cleanness, which shares a narrator with his debut, What Belongs to You. “I think it’s an assumption on my part about human beings: that we don’t know ourselves, that we are much more mysteries to ourselves than we are clear, and that someone who feels they are not a mystery to themselves is deluded,” Greenwell says. “It always seems to me that there’s a great deal of ourselves we don’t know, and that we don’t want to know. One of the things that interests me about narrative, and about having the same narrator over two books, is the possibility that presents of repeatedly putting this person in situations where he undergoes a process of coming into self-knowledge and is forced to look at things he’d prefer not to look at and to discover things that maybe he would prefer not to know, or things that frighten him.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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