Kimball: Okay, now I have to ask: What do your characters want?
Tanzer: They want to feel less confused. They want to better understand how they have arrived where they are and how they seem to find themselves in the situations they do. They know on some level that they are complicit in these things, and that they are repeating certain self-destructive behaviors or relationships, but they can’t quite figure out how or what they might have done differently. They also want to know things like how violence can just occur out of nowhere, unprompted, and why a parent might leave a family with no explanation, but they can never quite make sense of this either. Nor can they fully see how the events in one’s life connect, that there are ripple effects, and that if they were a little more curious and reacted a little less reflexively to things the world might make more sense. In all of my work, there is always the hope or the moment when some level of realization is achieved, or could be, but the characters never quite escape the confusion. There will always be new challenges and new relationships, and some things just don’t work or get any better. This is what life is and if you don’t believe me just read Michael Kimball’s excellent life on a postcard series. Now, how’s that for plug?