An Interview with Abigail Thomas 

Interview conducted by ALR Staff 

American Literary Review: I loved the brevity of sections in your first memoir, Safekeeping­—the way each section seemed to pop off the page, as well as the poetic feel of the book. The sections in your second memoir, A Three Dog Life, are longer, and your voice feels more resigned. I wonder if you can talk about the trade-offs and benefits of such short sections, and why you chose to write in longer sections in your second memoir. Also, were sections orchestrated to talk to each other?

Abigail Thomas: Safekeeping was written after the fact (if fact is the right word). The pieces came flying out of me after my second husband, Quin, died, and I realized, as I think I wrote, that I now had a past. Something was over, there was no changing or fixing it. I needed to face it. The pieces came willy-nilly, one often spawned the next. I think the first piece might have been apple cake, but I can’t remember now. I had originally believed the book, if it were to be a book, would end with the death of my old friend, but realized after a few months that although he had died, my