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Sheila Heti: 'I like inventing the self that makes the book'


The Paris Review has a great new feature called “My First Time” that interviews authors on writing their first novels. The interview of Sheila Heti, famed author of “How Should a Person Be?”, was posted this week. Her early approach to writing seems more impulsive, er… mechanical, as she wrote furiously until something stuck to the wall. Today, Heti says her practice centers around transforming, or even tricking the self into authorship. She states, “…this continues to be the most interesting part for me, not the book itself, but what needs to be done to get the book written. What person do you need to be to write this book? In what ways do you need to trick yourself to write this book? I think that’s what I think most about. I don’t think as much about plot or character. I like inventing the self that makes that book.” How’s that for a very positive take on self-deception?

The interview via Youtube:

*Image of Sheila Heti by Lee Towndrow for Das Magazin