PW: Who are your [literary] influences?
HM: I don't read at all. Since my daughter was born six years ago, I've only read one book, and that was because my best friend pushed me to read her favorite book, "The Great Gatsby." But I think not being a big reader makes me freer in writing; I always hear that authors who read lots also get blockages -- they have these idols and they try to be like them. I don't have that problem at all.
The novel is reportedly an increasingly uncomfortable meditation on bodily functions. A bestseller in Germany, it will soon be printed in 27 countries!