Billie Livingston

Billie Livingston.

“Mothers who struggle with alcoholism, kids in foster care, absent fathers, and families on welfare all crop up more than once in your stories and novels, and you’ve said you like to write about people off the grid, whose voices we don’t often hear. Would you say telling these stories is part of why you write?

I guess those things are just part of my mental furniture. I grew up in a single parent home, on welfare and therefore in, shall we say, “affordable” neighborhoods. There were certainly a lot of alcoholics around. Of course there were also more stable family members, but we tended to keep them at arm’s length because they were clearly appalled by the squalor of our household. One reviewer complained that I wrote a great deal about middle-class people prone to criminal acts, violence and outbursts of rage. There’s no telling what a reader will take away.”

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