I was a child of the Vietnam-era America,
of the Kennedy, King and Malcolm X assassinations.
The country no longer felt like the innocent place it was said to be
in the Eisenhower fifties.
Political murder, economic injustice, and institutionalized racism
were all powerfully and beautifully present.
These were issues that had previously been relegated to the margins of American life.
Dread, the sense that things might not work out,
that the moral high ground had been swept out from underneath us,
that the dream we had of ourselves had somehow been tainted,
and the future would forever be uninsured, was in the air.
This was the new lay of the land,
and if I was going to put my characters out on that highway,
I was going to have to put all of those things in the car with them.
That's what was due, what the times demanded.