Bridge of Clay is the new novel by Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief. The new novel has been a long time coming. More than a dozen years.

Stereo Stories had the privilege of Markus Zusak joining us onstage at the 2017 Williamstown Literary Festival where, backed by The Stereo Stories Band playing Neil Young’s roaring Crime In The City, he told the audience of the trials and tribulations of writing Bridge of Clay.

 I knew it would be hard; I thought it would take three years. At last count it’s hit eleven. I’ve been married to it, divorced it, slapped it, killed it, went to a self-imposed jail for it – only for it to be my cellmate, mocking me from the top bunk – with all its filthy habits…

Before work, I always listen to music, on headphones:

A song to take me up, a song to bring me in – to concentration…and then one day – I think it was afternoon, and the sun was hot on my back, from the window – I thought, ‘Oh, what the hell, I’ll finally listen to that Neil Young song on Weld I’ve been ignoring

Listening to Crime In the City was like sticking my head in the oven.

Here’s the song and the rest of the story.

Here are details about Bridge of Clay.