Interview With Caroline Hagood, Author of Making Maxine's Baby

"Erin Coughlin: Where did Maxine come from?

Caroline Hagood: I grew up here in New York and so riding the subway is a really huge part of my life and always has been. Then I saw a documentary, “Dark Days,” about the people who live in the subway system. That had a big impact on me, but I think my whole life I’ve been going through and wondering about the life of the tunnels and wondering, are people really living in there or is that an urban myth? And then thinking about homeless people in general because we just step over them. It’s really horrifying, the amount of dehumanization. So that’s the realistic part of it and then the unrealistic part of it was, I liked the idea of the tunnels and the underground as this sort of underworld or mythological place. Because it’s obviously not a realistic book. At all. But I wanted some reality in it, meaning I wanted to think about homelessness, but I obviously wasn’t going and interviewing people and then trying to make a realist text about it. But I guess I would say that the book has a lot of emotional truth about things."

Caroline Hagood