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Andrew Solomon on Peter Lanza: “He isn’t exceptional, really, in any way”

Photo: Simon & Schuster.

by David Daley

…How did this story happen? What brought the two of you together?

He had read my writing about the Klebolds in Far From the Tree and felt that I had represented them fairly and openly, and allowed their story to emerge. He thought I could do the same for his story, and felt therefore I would be a good person to approach for it.

When did you first begin talking?

He called me and asked me to call him to discuss doing the piece. I called him back and we agreed to have lunch in New York to discuss what he had in mind and whether I could do it.

We had a lunch in New York without a tape recorder, which was not part of the interview. After that lunch we decided we wanted to go forward with it — he invited me up to the house, and further interviews happened at the house.

Did you feel right away that the person you met that day could be anyone’s father? Because you come away from the piece with the sense that Peter’s a very regular, traditional, normal guy.

Yes. I think his point — “I want people to be afraid this could happen to them” — is borne out by that. He’s a lovely man. He’s someone I grew very fond of … but he isn’t exceptional, really, in any way. He’s a kind, decent, straightforward person.

And this just happened.

And this just happened.

(To read the full interview, please visit Salon.)