Meriah Nichols, who blogs at With a Little Moxie, recently posted a joint interview with George Estreich, author of The Shape of the Eye, and yours truly. She asked us both ten questions, including whether we would change anything about our books if we could. I answered:
There’s one passage that I often read when I’m talking about the book in public.It happens when Penny was five months old and some high school students come to our house and say, “You have the perfect life.” From there, I go on to think about the meaning of perfection, the ways in which our life doesn’t conform to cultural standards of perfection, and what it might mean to think about perfection differently. In retrospect, I wish I had written that passage with a little more clarity.
One of my struggles since I was a little girl has been perfectionism, which I now see as the attempt to pretend to be perfect. Every perfectionist knows that perfection (by any measure) isn’t possible, but the pretense of it is. A child with Down syndrome can’t pretend to be perfect. Penny’s presence in my life knocked the perfectionism out of me, which was incredibly jarring at first, but also incredibly freeing over time. If I were writing it over, I’d edit that one section
to be a little more clear about this perfection stuff.