‘I was in a kind of ecstatic freefall’: artist Miranda July on writing the book that could change your life

Miranda July has a novel out this month and it looks really good.

Talking to these older women, she started to consider time in a new way. As a young person she’d thought ahead to the family she might have, the fantasy, maybe, of being a star. Now at 50, “When I look ahead the same number of years, then it’s death at the end. You start setting your goals.” To my polite open mouth she says, gently, “I’m giving you the sense of the headspace that I was in when I was writing, which was, ‘Who do I want to be as a dying person?’” Here is, maybe, the hidden, spiritual element of the book. “So much of what you thought was you was maybe really other people. That starts to become more clear. And the weird part is,” she chuckles earnestly, “there can be discomfort, but I think there’s a kind of psychedelic joy to it, too.”