I’m not sure if we can say that Ben Fountain has put Dallas on the literary map, but his presence here — writing from and about Dallas — certainly has helped lift this city’s bona fides as a place where serious writing is possible. In this new interview with Fountain in The Morning News, the author talks about working in Dallas:
Â There is something to be said for living in a city like Dallas and trying to write.Â You are living in the belly of the beast. It’s in your face every day–you’re living it. It’s not like a research trip somewhere. Your assumptions are always going to be challenged, your point of view challenged.Â I think it’s the most American city. You get the purest strain of certain aspects of America–like capitalism, free market evangelicalism–consumerism, materialism, conspicuous consumption.
And not wanting to die here:
I followed my wife out to Texas. She’s the reason I went. At the time I thought, well, Dallas feels similar to North Carolina. There is this veneer of Southern-ness about it, but with a big city, so I thought I’d get the best of both worlds. But after a couple of years I realized that no, it’s very different. My wife has had a really good career practicing law there. She’s happy doing what she is doing. We raised our kids there and it was a decent place to raise kids. But I have to say my wife and I have agreed we don’t want to die in Dallas.
Read the whole thing here.