Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?
Dennis Cooper: I was living in Paris without being able to speak French well at all. At one point, I realized how interesting it was to only understand everyone around me to a small degree, and to have to guess at what they were saying based on the little bit of French that I understood, and I was inspired to write a novel set in Paris using a prose style that would, in some way, simulate that experience for the reader.
DC: Just how very hard it was to write a novel based on that idea, and how many tricks I had to employ and play to try to keep readers' intrigued and reading.
JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?
DC: When I was kid, my parents thought I was too aimless, and they made me take a test at a local university that was intended to determine what profession I would best at given my skills and interests, and the test results said that I should be a social worker.
DC: I'm reading three books: Kate Zambreno's "Green Girl", a galley of Shane Jones' forthcoming novel "Daniel Fights a Hurricane", and Wayne Koestenbaum's "Humiliation".
DC: In addition to my novels, I collaborate on theater works with the French director Gisele Vienne, and we're beginning to work on our seventh piece, which take the form of a large walk through maze wherein a theater piece of sorts will take place. I'm also finishing a book of poetry.
For more on "Marbled Swarm," visit the Harper Collins website.