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Published on Jan 9, 2013
In this edition of HoCoPoLitSo's "The Writing Life," Irish novelist Colm Tóibín talks with journalist and novelist Belinda McKeon about his work, about traveling and home's inexorable pull. Tóibín wrote about leaving and coming home in his first two novels, and distilled his style in his second book, "The Heather Blazing," into something he calls "pure." And because Tóibín also writes articles about culture and politics, the nonfiction clears a space for his novels to be nonpolitical and deal only with the human heart, he says. "A novelist's job is almost to be a stupid as possible, except in the cunning moment when you need to structure something, when you need to be very intelligent indeed. The rest of the time, you need almost an empty mind, where you can let any image in, follow it along, and allow an emotional charge, almost the way actors and singers can work. The more instinct you have as a novelist, and the less intelligence, the better." For more information on HoCoPoLitSo and the live and video programs it offers, visit www.hocopolitso.org.