Suspend Your Disbelief

Elaine Neil Orr


Elaine Neil Orr is the author of two novels, Swimming Between Worlds (2018) and A Different Sun (2013), both with Berkley/Penguin/Random House, and a memoir, Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life (UVaP, 2003), as well as two scholarly books. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry appear in The Missouri Review, Blackbird, Image Journal, and OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, among other places. She is professor of English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and also serves on the faculty of the brief residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville. Her website:


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 […]