Interviews

Chuck Palahniuk on Beautiful You, Arousal Addiction, and Chick Lit

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"The popularity doesn't really affect my life," Palahniuk says. "It affects the public events that I do. They've had to be retailored over and over for more and more people. I have to sign the books ahead of time now, so people don't have to wait in line for hours at the events."

Palahniuk's current string of public events, a tour for his upcoming novel Beautiful You out October 21, stops by Dobson High School Auditorium on Thursday, October 23. Don't expect a boring book reading, though, as Palahniuk's events are a little different.

"It's a big participatory spectacle. It's more of a party than a traditional book reading," Palahniuk says. "It will be the best author reading they've ever attended. Plus, it's a chance to wear your pajamas in public.

"I've got some horrific stories to tell, campfire-type stories. As children, people hear stories all the time that make them uncomfortable or leave them feeling troubled. We don't do that enough as adults. I've got some stories that will leave people feeling troubled," Palahniuk says.

The novel itself is very different from anything he's written before, according to Palahniuk.

"I started using the rules of minimalism for my first books, but Beautiful You breaks the laws of minimalism intentionally," Palahniuk says. "It's definitely my most satirical book and my most writerly book. It owes so much to the chick lit of the last 10 years, my last title for it was Fifty Shades of the Twilight Cave Bear Wears Prada.

"I wanted to do kind of a dark comedy about what's being called 'arousal addiction,' which is basically sidetracking an entire generation of young men and stunting their maturity with things like video games and online pornography," Palahniuk says. "I wanted to address the social issue without doing it directly, so I chose to explore it through a female point of view in Beautiful You."

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Josh Chesler
Contact: Josh Chesler