Suspend Your Disbelief

Brian Bartels


Brian Bartels was raised in the small town of Reedsburg, Wisconsin. His work has appeared in The Missouri Review, Literary Juice, Pop Matters, New York Stages, and elsewhere. Bartels serves as the director of bar operations for Happy Cooking, which runs the West Village restaurants Jeffrey’s Grocery, Joseph Leonard, Fedora, Perla, and Bar Sardine. His first book, The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, releases from Ten Speed Press in March of 2017.


Shop Talk |

The Very Good, The Breaking Bad and The Cuddly: Books Loved in 2013

Hey, Park Rangers. Echoing the bold everlasting words of narration in Charles Baxter’s The Feast of Love, “What a Midwesterner he was, a thoroughly unhip guy with his heart in the usual place, on his sleeve, in plain sight,” I wanted to share some stories I loved from last year. There’s quite a bit of corny, unapologetic and Hallmark-y content in mid-February, and it can make any toiled romance feel heightened for unnecessary reasons. I know you’re smart enough to not place all your chips in the same stack. Of course I’m getting at sleeping around. It can’t be just […]

Interviews |

Imagined Landscapes of History: An Interview with David Ebershoff

Brian Bartels talks with David Ebershoff–author, editor-at-large for Random house, and Columbia professor–about such topics as the role research plays in his writing, writing the book you want to read, the advice his gives his students about drafting, and how he approaches revision.

Shop Talk |

A Valentine for 2009 from Brian Bartels

Editors’ Note: In early January, Anne and Jeremy wrote our Contributors to hear about their favorite books from 2009, the results of which we’ve compiled as a feature for Valentine’s Day. But we enjoyed the punchy letter Contributor Brian Bartels sent us so much that we decided it deserved its own post. Happy Valentine’s Day! A Letter of Apology: First off, you look great today. No lie. But it’s a sad day for me. If I may borrow the words of Kris Kristofferson, I would trade all of my tomorrow’s for another yesterday. I wish I could get 2009 back, but […]