Interview – Daisy Anne Gree for Babylon


4# Babylon  Daisy Anne Gree 

Babylon…hmm, is that a reference to Babylon 5?  

Absolutely, I’m a big fan of Delenn’s.

Have you lived in Babylon, Texas?

I lived in the town in Texas that it’s based on. It’s like nowhere else I’ve ever been. You are so far from everything, and the landscape is so surreal, it feels like you’re on an alien planet. People only have two reasons for being somewhere like that — they were born there and never left, or they came to hide from something. The ambience is sheer desolation.


Your book starts with an attempted suicide. Why?    

Because I’ve done it a few times myself. I’d never seen it expressed in the way that I felt it — Pragmatic.

Schizophrenia is a major part of the book. Are you preaching or just showing?

I’d like to think I’m just showing. It’s something I could write about with confidence because I’m schizophrenic. It’s possible that I’m preaching a little, especially in the interplay between madness and faith. Everything gets fascinatingly gray in that no man’s land between the two.

Your narrator is very detached from things. Did you take this style from any particular book, or was it instinctive?

It’s instinctive because that’s how I am most of the time. I’ve always been like that. I feel like a badly wooden actor instead of a human being.

Are you the new Nick Cave?

I’d have to romanticize a little more to be the new Nick. I don’t know how he can drink that much and remain so emotional. Is he still a drunk? I remember walking through the Hammersmith underpass one day when Nick was playing at the Apollo. The homeless guy sitting on the ground called out to me as I passed. He said, “Are you off to see Nick Cave?” I said no, and he said, “Good, because I knew him and he was a right cunt.”

Flannery O Connor?

Oh, I’ll take that one, please. If you’re the new Flannery O’Connor, you don’t have to actually be anywhere near as good as Flannery O’Connor herself, do you?

Kerry Katona?

Is she the new me, more like. She has a long way to go if she wants to catch up. The only living person who did more speed than me is Lou Reed. He’s still alive, right? He’s been sober for longer than I have, so I guess I have a long way to go to be the new Lou Reed. Isn’t it weird how he has all of those patents on inventions? Like the one for an eyeglasses holder or something?

Why attach your work to Year Zero?

I’d been yelling it at everyone who had ears to listen for a long time — ideas about getting the writing directly to the readers, about the power of collectives and the creative alchemy that can take place in them. Of course, even people with ears wanted me to shut the fuck up about it. There is a feeling of hopelessness in the publishing world among writers, and I don’t like the pervasiveness of the victim paradigm. You can always do it yourself, if you can get others involved. I hadn’t come across anything like that until Year Zero. And, Oli, it’s really all your fault that I’m involved, anyway.

What if it doesn’t sell?

I’m not really concerned about the book selling, I just want it read. However it’s read is fine by me — whether that be in paperback form or as a free ebook. Just fucking read it. Please?


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