My Secret Life: Chuck Palahniuk, author, 49

Holly Williams
Saturday 03 September 2011 00:00
Comments
Palahniuk says: 'When I was a child I wanted to be either a dog or a priest. I think I have achieved some aspects of both'
Palahniuk says: 'When I was a child I wanted to be either a dog or a priest. I think I have achieved some aspects of both'

My parents were... timid towards the world. They passed that on, very much.

The household I grew up in... was organised, it was meticulous. They had four children; six people caged in.

When I was a child I wanted to... be either a dog or a priest. I think I have achieved some aspects of both.

If I could change one thing about myself... My cowardice.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... listening. People come to me about their dreams.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... driving cars.

At night I dream of... dessert.

I wish I'd never worn... Hammer pants – those very baggy pants from the 1980s.

What I see when I look in the mirror... My ageing Ukrainian uncles. It's a comfort – it's nostalgic.

My favourite item of clothing... Brooks Brothers slim-fit men's dress shirts. I could not count them, they are unnumbered.

I drive/ride... a Toyota Prius and a Toyota pick-up truck.

It's not fashionable but I like... country and western music; I love Hank Williams.

My house is... covered in dog hair. I've got two dogs, they're Boston terriers and they're allowed everywhere.

My favourite work of art... the Space Needle in Seattle, because it's such a demonstration of optimism.

A book that changed me... It's by Denis Johnson and it's called Jesus' Son. It's short stories and it demonstrated a very loose kind of narrative that I'd never seen before – the narrative was extremely honest and non-manipulative, it was self-effacing and it wasn't about making the writer look good.

Movie heaven... If there had been zombies on the iceberg when the Titanic hit it, that would have made a much better movie.

The last album I bought... A 'best of' compilation of Philip Glass.

My secret crush is... Boy, that's another tough one. It's an oxymoron. Can I have several? I think my heart always goes out to men at the peak of their celebrity who checked out. There's such an odd, horrible trend in my lifetime for it – Kurt Cobain, David Foster Wallace, Alexander McQueen, Heath Ledger.

My greatest regret... That I didn't see my father before he was killed.

My real-life villains... Anybody who tortures animals.

The last time I cried... My mother's funeral, two years ago.

My five-year plan... To finish the cycle of three novels I'm writing about a dead little girl in hell, and to get health insurance.

What's the point? Oh, how to be clever on that one? The great philosopher Thomas Aquinas said that hell is where you go when you're not becoming the person God wants you to be. So the point is to become the person you planned to be.

My life in six words... Good boy, bad boy, old man.

A life in brief

Charles Michael Palahniuk was born in February 1962 and grew up in the state of Washington. He graduated in 1986 with a BA in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Palahniuk began writing at 32 and his debut novel, Fight Club, was made into a major movie in 1999. In the same year, his father was murdered. He has published 14 books, including Snuff, Pygmy and Tell All. His latest novel, Damned, is published this Thursday. He lives between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in