Q. Mr. Kennedy, I hadn't realized that you have spent most of the past decades living abroad (I read the bits of the Q&A on your personal site), have you noted a difference in the reception of your books since you've come home!? Or, even, a difference in perception when you tell people you're a writer, a novelist?! I happily was reading about the French and their enthused passion for not only your writing but the writings of all Americans, as you lamented the fact that they are simply over the moon for Americana and happily will drink in all narratives that gives them a closer view of our everyday lives.
I find this to be true, as my Mum has French correspondents, and they always appear to be engaged in whichever anecdote of my Mum's life she's relaying to them by letter. I would be curious, do you find that readers in America hold within them that same spark of excitement and mirth, as our European counterparts, or do you find that it's different being a writer here than there, on the level that only in certain places are writers better respected and exalted?! I personally have found it to be regionally inclined, and was curious if you had found the same!? New England for me, is a region that happily celebrates the creative economist, for instance.
A. I did live abroad from 1977 to 2007 - first in Dublin, then London, while also having pied-a-terres in Paris and Berlin. I decided to buy a house in Maine in 2007 as a way of returning home, and officially became an American resident again at the start of 2011. Reconnecting with my country was essential for me - but I am still regularly in Europe (and elsewhere!) on an ongoing basis. Someone once described an expatriate as: at home abroad, abroad at home. I am very much at home in the States, but very much at home abroad as well. And yes, this has given my fiction - and especially my perspective on my home country - a certain distinctive resonance (I hope!).