The Millions

Getting to the Edge of Darkness: The Millions Interviews Douglas Light

Douglas Light’s new novel, Where Night Stops, draws its striking power from the well of impurity. It’s a swift crime novel stropped to a lethal gleam by lyricism and imbued with Franz Kafka’s beetle-shaped shadows. It’s a brilliantly structured mystery that takes its form from musical composition. It’s a neo-noir thriller. It’s a taut, muscular literary novel. It’s an unsettling exploration of authenticity in our era of shifting identities. By brilliantly blending genres and styles and emotional shades, Light has produced a timely and original work that is unlike anything I’ve read.

Light’s debut novel, East Fifth Bliss, was made into the feature film The Trouble with Bliss starring Michael C. Hall and Academy Award-winners Brie Larson and Peter Fonda, and his story collection Girls in Trouble received the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction.

I caught up with Light at Ozo Coffee Company, a hangout for students and start-up entrepreneurs in Boulder, Colo.

The Millions: I’m going to start lowbrow by asking about the genesis of Where Night Stops. Where did the novel come from? In particular, where did the crime thriller approach come from? Did you sit down and say, “I want to write a crime thriller?”

This novel came out of my failure to sell my second novel. I had sold , my first novel, and I had written the second novel. Which I could not sell. Too literary, I

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