Are you interested in the thoughts and lives of the bookish people of today? Don’t look any further and read the best interviews of the week.
Hannah Tennant-Moore writes about the new novels that use fiction the reveal secret truths.
By the end of my MFA, I was both weary enough of plot-centered critiques of writing and confident enough in my own use of language to believe I could at least attempt to write a novel. And what I discovered in the course of writing “Wreck and Order” is that I could communicate much more truth in fiction than I had ever been able to through personal essays. This is partly because I was no longer beholden to the often dull or inconvenient details of real life, but mostly because I could imagine truths other than my own.
Get introduced to the author of our April book club pick Charlie Jane Anders through her reddit AMA.
In terms of advice for aspiring writers… I guess the main thing is just that it’s an incredibly time-consuming process to break in, unless you’re the lucky prodigy who just gets discovered when you’re 19. I wrote 100 godawful short stories before I started getting even remotely good, and All the Birds in the Sky is my 6th novel.
Vol.1 Brooklyn interviews Kristopher Jansma and they talk about his new novel, the death of his sister and teaching.
There’s a class I’ve been kicking around for awhile now. I’ve been trying to do it in the fall depending if I can. The topic would be unreliable narrators. It’s something I think would be very fascinating from both the literature perspective but also creative writing. My first novel had an unreliable narrator. I was looking at a lot of stuff to see how it works. I actually had at one point written up a reading list for what would be in that class.
The New Yorker has new fiction by Don DeLilo, a short story called Sine Cosine Tangent.
He was a man shaped by money. He’d made an early reputation by analyzing the profit impact of natural disasters. He liked to talk to me about money. My mother said, What about sex? That’s what he needs to know.
But last summer I felt the urge to have a conversation with Lovecraft about the bad stuff, too. How could I love and loathe this guy’s work in such equal measure? I decided to think my way through the issue by writing a story about it. I’d read and reread all his work but “The Horror at Red Hook” immediately stood out as the piece I wanted to rewrite, resist, remix. Lovecraft, chopped and screwed.
Jo Nesbø has the perfect writing room, but never uses it.
So, when I get up in the morning I take a long look at it, assemble my notes and laptop and head to where I write. A very small coffee shop where I’ve been going for 15 years. I have to get in early to get one of the two tables at the end of the ”corridor” that is the coffee shop. It’s the only tables where I really can write.
Tanwi Nandini Islam talks about writing the canon of now in her newest column for Catapult.
One question, posed by a Black writer friend, resonated with me. He asked, “We’re in very violent times right now. What do you think our work must do in this moment? What do you think your work does?”
Kelly Link and Keith Lee Morris talk about their latest works and having unruly characters.
Unruly characters. I think the most surprising thing a character ever did was in a story called “Some Zombie Contingency Plans.” The central character, called Soap most of the time, ends up in a bed with a girl at a party. She falls asleep and it turns out that her little brother is hiding under the bed — I didn’t know until I got to that point that there was a little brother and that he’d be under the bed.