Sue Miller (BSS #171)

Sue Miller is most recently the author of The Senator’s Wife.


Condition of Mr. Segundo: Wary of Washington’s workings.

Author: Sue Miller

Subjects Discussed: Character names, the New Left, Tom Hayden vs. Tom Naughton, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, setting a story in the early Clinton years, Updike’s Terrorist, the reticence of older writers writing about certain aspects of the contemporary world, goat cheese and blue ink, American food metaphors, Paris, Old World attitudes towards privacy, French Presidents and adultery, using italics in dialogue and interior monologue, admonishments from editors, characters who contend with poverty from an intellectual vantage point, prose description that balances action with physical characteristics, white liberal guilt, appetite and privacy, ethics and how characters are presented to the reader, topographical environment and detail, the drawings that mark the edges of Miller’s early drafts, and doodling.


Miller: Asa, I like, because you can call him Ace. Which his brother does. And Meri, I thought of — it’s her nickname. But quite honestly, they just seemed interesting to me.

Correspondent: But the marriage connotation had not occurred to you?

Miller: It had not occurred to me at all. Yeah.

Correspondent: Interesting. Interesting. Even with Naughton too?

Miller: No.

Correspondent: (laughs) Really?

Miller: It’s all up to you. Whatever you want to put in…

Correspondent: But it’s so there though, you know?

Miller: Well, absolutely, if you think it’s there, it’s there.

Correspondent: Okay, fair enough. Fair enough.

Miller: And I’ll take credit for it too.

Correspondent: Sure. It was your great genius that concocted this.

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