The reader is always faced with the question of what a particular gesture, a particular detail means. It is not enough to say that it need not mean anything because it simply is. The meaningless accumulation of accurately observed detail cannot satisfy us for long; only if the details are made to tell, only if they are weighted with a significance for the lives shown, will they be tolerable.

We each nurture a private terror that some core aspect(s) of either our selves or our story must be hidden or disowned. With every manuscript I've ever edited--even grown-assed writers'--the traits a writer often fights hardest to hide may serve as undeniable facets both of self and story.