Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘culture and lit’

Interviews |

The Underdog Who Realized He Was on Top: An Interview with Jonas Hassen Khemiri

An invented language, off-stage heroes, searing political comedy. Katarina Matsson sits down with award-winning Swedish playwright and novelist Jonas Hassen Khemiri to discuss translation, the power-struggle of words, rats, germs, leaving home to write about it, and why hearing voices doesn’t necessarily mean you’re crazy.


Interviews |

The Nuance of Noir: An Interview with Edwidge Danticat

Renowned for her stirring and insightful stories about Haitian life, Edwidge Danticat recently turned her eye to genre as the editor of Haiti Noir, part of Akashic Books’ noir series. The book was published in December, following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Danticat discusses the disaster’s impact on the book and the way that noir captures some of the mystery, darkness and complexity of her homeland.


Shop Talk |

Flipbook: "Culture"

Every few weeks, we launch a new Fiction Writers Review “Flipbook.” During the past two and a half years, we’ve featured more than 50 interviews with authors established and emerging. They’ve had such valuable insights into the writing life—from thoughts on process and craft to ideas about community and influence—that we wanted to find a way to further these conversations within our community. Each Flipbook highlights some of the very best of the conversations on our site, centered around a particular topic. Our latest Flipbook is now up on the FWR Facebook page, with an exclusive slide right here on […]


Shop Talk |

License to Write: Further Thoughts on Author Bios

Have you noticed that more and more often, writer bios emphasize everything about the author’s life but writing? Authors list their credentials from the odd jobs they’ve worked: door-to-door knife salesman, pig farmer, department store perfume-sprayer—okay, I made those up, but pick up virtually any book by an up-and-coming author and you’ll see that they’re not far afield. Writer Edan Lepucki discusses this phenomenon in an insightful essay on The Millions: Or is my annoyance at the non-standard bio about something else? With the authors who have held a dozen, motley jobs, I worry that book writing is just a […]


Interviews |

Bringing the News: An Interview with Richard Ford

In this lively conversation, Travis Holland and author Richard Ford discuss the genesis of Ford’s most famous fictional character, Frank Bascombe, the importance of always remembering the reader, greeting cards, what could well be one of the greatest short stories of the 20th century, and why place in fiction means nothing.


Shop Talk |

A Million Little Writers (perhaps just a dozen)

Lots of digital ink has been spilled this week about James Frey’s Full Fathom Five endeavor. In simple terms, the company has enlisted bright young writers (most from MFA programs) to try to write the next big Young Adult series, a la Twilight or Harry Potter. Hillary Busis on MEDIAite has an article looking at two competing pieces (both published 11/12/10) – one in the Wall Street Journal, one in New York Magazine – and their very different takes. The blogosphere has picked up the story and run with it. Busis writes: The articles’ tones vary drastically. The WSJ’s Katherine […]


Interviews |

Consumed by the Country: An Interview with Tatjana Soli

Tatjana Soli’s debut novel, The Lotus Eaters, takes place during the Vietnam War and focuses on a female combat photographer. Tyler McMahon talks with the author about how we choose our subject matter, the challenges of writing about well-documented history, the role research plays in her process, and why novels matter in an era increasingly dominated by nonfiction.


Reviews |

Best European Fiction 2010 (Aleksandar Hemon, ed.)

What is it about the European cultures, tucked like bats into their tiny cubbies, that seems so much more specific than our own? How do Belgium or Luxembourg achieve “culture” in little more space we might use to construct a Wal-Mart megastore? What is it about confinement that breeds a more tribal than national identity? What are we doing when we sit down to read a collection of fiction culled from a continent?



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