Suspend Your Disbelief

Elaine Neil Orr


Elaine Neil Orr is the author of A Different Sun: A Novel of Africa (Berkley, 2013) and a memoir, Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life, as well as two scholarly books. She is professor of English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where she teaches world literature and creative writing. She also serves on the faculty of the brief-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville. She is a frequent fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her web address is


Interviews |

How A Song Wants to Sound: An Interview with Kim Church

Kim Church told me she was writing a novel titled Byrd the first time we met. We were at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) in Amherst, walking a lane after dinner, cows grazing in the adjacent pasture. I’m sure I heard “Bird” even when it became clear that Byrd is a character. The surprise of homonyms captured me. “This novel,” I thought, “will be poetry.” Now, four years later, the novel is almost out; I have read the galley and, I’m thrilled to say, I was right. Sparse and complex, Byrd (Dzanc Books, 2014) makes rich use of extended […]

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