Episode 16 - Tom Drury Part 1


Tom Drury is the author of six astounding novels. Three - his masterpiece The End of VandalismHunts in Dreams and Pacific - are set in the same fictional Grouse County area of Iowa - Drury's home-state. 

We met the day after The End of Vandalism was relaunched in the UK, in an Earls Court flat next door to Hattie Jacques' former residence. We began by discussing the forthcoming film of his 2006 book The Driftless Area, which Drury adapted himself. Having talked about the ways writing for the screen differed from writing for the page, we moved onto: 
  • ideas of what is essential and inessential in Drury's stories
  • collaboration in film and fiction 
  • the solitariness of being a writer
  • the economics of writing fiction
  • working for Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Drury's former career as a journalist
  • dialogue and how people speak 
  • 'People answer questions that haven't been asked, and don't answer questions that have been asked...'
  • how Dan Norman from The End of Vandalism talks
  • Louise Darling, priests, God and attraction
  • 'God is like having an imaginary friend'
  • returning to his beginnings and The End of Vandalism's 21st birthday
  • Drury's 'Grouse County' series
  • the past and the present in smalltown America
  • from conversation to spareness - the evolution of Drury's style
  • With The End of Vandalism, I really got into letting them speak'
  • 'Why is this bucket in the yard?'
  • 'Dowel rods I always found kind of humorous'
  • 'Grouse County', Iowa and the place of place in Drury's work
  • cars
  • Drury's childhood in Swaledale, Iowa
  • Drury's childhood reading
  • reading, escapism and 'the world beyond' Iowa
  • 'Practically everything lay outside my experience'
  • London, Berlin and Drury's return to Mason City, Iowa
  • how has the real 'Grouse County' changed?
  • the Bookmobile and why Drury wanted to be a writer
  • 'Books are so important we are going to send out a truckful of them'
  • the slow erosion of rural America
  • Drury, Bob Dylan and the grain elevator
  • 'And you think there is no excitement in that landscape.'
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