A PBS interview with Lan Samantha Chang, award-winning author of Hunger and Inheritance plus a forthcoming novel about poetry in a fictional world. In real life, she holds the amazing position as director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Chang: Oh, that’s such an interesting question. I mean, we could sit and talk about that for a long time. What I look for, when I’m looking at different student manuscripts, is a sense of passion and tension in the prose, a sense that the writer cares about words and that the prose is alive. It could be any style. It could be highly experimental or street-psychological realism. It could be international fiction. It could be a family saga. But whatever it is, I have to have that sense that the narrator of the story cares, that there’s something at stake; that the prose is charged with passion on some level.