. . . the essential nature of your voice never changes. It’s as organically a part of you as your fingerprints or the character of your reflexes. I believe that you’re born with your voice. If you’re young and/or inexperienced it may become distorted for a time as you try to imitate some established writer or conform to fashion (I went through a phase in early adolescence, for example, of imitating Dickens) but even then your own distinctive ‘take’ on the mode will emerge. Last year while cleaning out the attic I found some stuff I’d written when I was fifteen and essentially I have the same writing style now as I had then. Astonishing isn’t it? You can refine your technique, change your subject matter, disguise your own voice with pastiche or parody, but that’s about it. Writing schools teach you to recognise your natural strengths and weaknesses – what you can and can’t do with that voice – and then you go on to learn how to minimise the weaknesses and make the most of the strengths.
Interview Amanda Lohrey (Interview appeared in Famous Reporter 10, November 1994).(from here)
This is the beginning of the novel by Amanda Lohrey.
‘Until I met her, I confess that for most of my life I was bored. It’s an unattractive word, boredom, and I flinch from it now, but for a long time it was the only word I could summon to describe my condition. Today I would say that for much of my life I suffered from an apprehension of lack, but one that I found difficult to put into words. In essence it consisted of a feeling that nothing was ever quite right; something was always missing.
How many of us have been dismayed by that feeling? And ashamed of it at those very moments when we ought to feel happy? We ask ourselves: what is the flaw in our being that gives rise to this discontent?
Amanda Lohrey, A Short History of Richard Kline
From a review of the novel.
[Amanda Lohrey] has an unusual capacity for intellectual and emotional empathy, and a language supple enough to express both. In temper, she reminds me of Marilynne Robinson, the American Pulitzer prize-winning novelist (for Gilead), and essayist who, like Lohrey, has a repertoire of integrated modes – philosophical/theological, dramatic/analytical, sympathetic and satirical.
Morag Fraser, Amanda Lohrey review: Her new novel is profound, empathetic and beautifully written
March 21, 2015, Sydney Morning Herald (From here)