Proust Questionnaire with Belinda McKeon

Belinda McKeon’s debut novel Solace tells the tragic love story of Mark Casey and Joanne Lynch, childhood neighbors who meet and fall in love in Dublin.
Here the writer reflects on perfect happiness, wasted time and 1979 yellow Mercedes Benzes.

See Belinda at BLF:

Solace, March 16 6 pm

with Kjersti Skomsvold in The New Generation, March 1 pm

Mengfei Chen: If you weren’t a writer what would you be?

Belinda McKeon: A menace to society. If I didn’t or couldn’t write, I think I’d be so miserable and frustrated that I’d just go around breaking things. (On purpose, that is. I already break things by accident all the time.)

MC: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

BM: It’s the thing that happens when you’re not thinking about it, or not even noticing it. Afterwards, when it’s over, you look back and you think, God, I miss that.

MC: What is your greatest fear?

BM: There are people in my life who I never want to lose. I know I’ll have to, eventually, but knowing this doesn’t make it any less frightening.

MC: What literary figure do you most identify with? Why?

BM: Is there a literary figure who’s unable to answer this question? Then that one. Sorry, I don’t mean to be flip, but I identify, in different ways, with every character who draws me in.

MC: What is your greatest extravagance?

BM: It isn’t finished yet, but my husband and I are slowly restoring a 1979 yellow Mercedes Benz estate which his father once used as transport for his jazz band. There are definitely other things we could have spent the money on, but we didn’t want to let it sit and rot in the garage anymore. And it’s yellow - how could we not bring it back to life?

MC: What was the last book you bought?

BM: Life Sentences: Literary Judgements and Accounts, which is a collection of essays by the American critic William H. Gass. I haven’t actually read it yet, mind you.

MC: What is your most treasured possession?

BM: The time I’m always wasting.

MC: Which words do you overuse?

BM: “I’d love to.”

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