The People We Know: An Interview with Donald Ray Pollock
by Lydia Fitzpatrick
Donald Ray Pollock, author of the 2008 collection Knockemstiff, left high school at seventeen to work at a meatpacking plant. A year later, he landed a union job at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, where he worked for the next thirty-two years. He didn’t start writing until his forties, and even then he kept his day job—writing mornings, nights, and weekends. Lydia Fitzpatrick and Kate Levin talk with the author about coming to writing late, getting an MFA, and making disreputable characters empathetic.