Interviewer: Some think your preoccupation with romance verges at times on the sentimental. You quote Aragon in answer: “Love is your last chance, there is really nothing else to keep you there.”
O’Brien: But my work is concerned with loss as much as with love. Loss is every child’s theme and writers, however mature and wise and eminent, are children at heart. I might, if the gods are good to me, find that my understanding of love has become richer and stronger than my dread of loss.
Interviewer: Is that why, in nearly all your novels, women are longing to establish a simple, loving, harmonious relationship with men, but are unable to do so?
O’Brien: My experience was pretty extreme, so that it is hard for me to imagine harmony, or even affinity, between men and women. I would need to be reborn.