31 Aug Meeting Matthew Quick and The Heroes In His Life
by KB Meniado
Matthew Quick is most known for Silver Linings Playbook but it was Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock that was the game changer for me. I loved it so much that it ended up in my Best Reads of
2013 All Time. On my Goodreads, I wrote:
Every chapter broke my heart. A detached mother, a nonexistent group of friends his age, a sordid past later disclosed – maybe I would feel like 17-year-old Leonard Peacock, too. I would want to kill myself to get rid of all the voices inside my head. I would want to kill the person responsible for the darkness inside of me. I would want to end all of it, all the hope in the world gone in a bullet.
Not that Leonard Peacock believed in only that. No. I saw that he fought so hard to believe that everything was still going to be alright. He still had faith in things to come, else he would not be befriending old Walt the Bogart fan or stealing a kiss from the Preacher’s Daughter Lauren. He would not be having adult days, lurking about in the trains and observing how grownups deal with life. He would not have dialed that phone to call Herr Silverman, perhaps the only person in the world he looks up to. He would not have asked – whether how indirectly or directly – for someone to save him.
(Oh, 2013 reviewer me… Anyway.)
It was the kind of book that I wanted to write, that I turned and returned to, that I always wanted to share about.
So when I had the opportunity to meet Matthew Quick at the Philippine Literary Festival 2015 last August 29, it was – as he would always describe his success – “surreal.” Here is a part of the conversation I thought would be worth sharing in celebration of National Heroes’ Day.
Hi Q! You mention in a lot of your interviews that two of your heroes are your grandfather and Japanese author Haruki Murakami. What I want to ask is, do you have a fictional hero as well?
Billy Pilgrim of Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. He’s a meek guy who’s trying to get over this horrific experience. There’s just something beautiful about that.
It’s funny you mentioned my grandfather. He wasn’t really like Billy Pilgrim but he did fight in World War II and then he tried his whole life to forget – came back and worked hard to be good. He would never tell me what happened at the War, so Billy Pilgrim, in some ways, made me understand my grandfather.
He was also the one who took me to the movies. Going to the movies was similar to going to church – it was a religious experience, like a temple – you know, a sacred place – where you learn about stories. I grew up in a very religious household so I went to church every weekend then, and that was also a place where I heard about stories.
It was that connection, that going to church and the movies with my grandfather, that gave me meaning. I didn’t understand until years later, but it was in those moments that I was learning to become a storyteller.
And yes, Murakami! I’ve met some famous writers but none of them made feel like —
Fanboying? No, fanmanning!
*laughs* Fanmanning. That’s funny! If I met Haruki Murakami, that would be a BIG deal for me.
Fanmanning all over? 😉
No, I would just try to be cool. I would love to have a glass of scotch with Murakami. That would be awesome! I love his works; they’re all about the subconscious. It’s not really about what’s happening in the real world, but about what’s happening on the inside.
Matthew Quick’s new novel, Love May Fail, is now available. Special thanks to National Book Store.