Cured a country ham
Built an outhouse
Michael Ondaatje: Did the characters in The Land Breakers, like Lacey Pollard, for instance—who in the first half of the book seems one-dimensional, but who then returns to the mountain with a sense of the world outside, “the wide road,” and has seen everything that’s going on out there, as opposed to this small valley—did you even imagine Lacey Pollard emerging that way, or was that something that evolved as you were writing? Because he becomes a wonderfully tragic character.
John Ehle: It goes back in a way to Eugene O’Neill. A man chooses life or love. Love meaning he would have stayed with his wife, and life meaning he would have gone to find out what the world was like. So he evolved. He didn’t evolve as much as he should have. I mean, he didn’t have a chance. I’m not sure that killing him with the bear was the best idea I’ve ever had, but it was convenient at the time.
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