has written three collections of short stories and two rather short novels. Now, after eleven years of work, she has published a longer novel, A Gate at the Stairs
(Knopf), and survived to tell the tale. She speaks of the thrills and perils of spending so many years inside one character's head — and the time she spent in dread of writing the book's most emotionally demanding chapters.
Read an excerpt from A Gate at the Stairs.