From The Guardian:
Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most popular novelists in the world. Put simply, his fiction hits a nerve with people whose lives – and desires and neuroses and pitch-black humour – go unrecorded by most writers of fiction. Over lunch at the Multnomah Falls, a spectacular Oregon landmark, Chuck tells me about his new book, Haunted, a selection of interconnecting short stories – including ‘Guts’ – and odd, neurotic-sounding poems. In its formal experimentation, Haunted breaks new ground, and, one suspects, may test the patience of the Chuck fans who don’t like reading any books but his. It concerns a group of would-be writers who come together to tell their stories, and, more pertinently, to avoid telling the bigger, darker collective story of the group. The bigger story emerges nonetheless and it is by turns nauseating, darkly funny and brutally graphic.
‘The initial premise for the book was Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories,’ says Chuck, acknowledging an influence that few have picked up on. ‘Poe was so good at writing stories that exploited the unspoken horrors of his day. He was obsessed with premature burial, for instance. I kept thinking, “If Poe were alive today, what would be the everyday horrors he would write about?”‘ He pauses to fork some seared salmon into his mouth. ‘Plus, I had to write a food book. Every author has to eventually write a food book.’