There's always going to be a little bit of autobiographical content to everything. It's how you lend some authority to what you write - you give it that weight by drawing on your direct experiences and indirect experiences from people that you know well, or a little.
[Tom] Wolfe's books offered a whole new world to step into, and whilst at times you could accuse him of being somewhat long-winded, he had an incredible quality of prose and a bravery of writing from the heart. He believed in being autobiographical at all times.
I've translated two of Bae's novels, A Greater Music and Recitation, which are coming from Open Letter and Deep Vellum in October and January respectively. A Greater Music is a semi-autobiographical book centred on a Korean writer moving to Berlin, learning to live and even write in a foreign language.
In fact, writing, especially writing autobiographical works, and this is actually the fourth time I've done it, each time I've done it I've felt deeply immersed in the material as I'm doing it, and then it's over and everything is the same.
If I like hardcore straight-edge punk music, gentle psychedelic folk music, gangster rap, indie-rock with a lot of guitar pedals, and I find inspiration from all these things in different songs of mine, shouldn't I be allowed to make any of this kind of music that I want? And it's the same for the comic books, why should I only make autobiographical stories? Or only political stories? Or only superhero stories? Or only comedy stories? I am a bit creatively desperate, when I sit with a pen and paper I am desperate for ANY idea that makes me excited, I... Read more »
I'm always saying that my books are not autobiographical because they're not. I can't choose any one scene and say, 'Oh, this is exactly what happened to me!' I just use little snippets of things as a starting point!