“I’m much more interested in inner conflict than outer conflict”: Sara Batkie chats with Jesse Hassenger about the stories that make up her debut collection, Better Times, winner of the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize and out now from the University of Nebraska Press.
“This time, I’m just going to bang it out. Then a year later I’m just getting started”: Joshua Max Feldman in conversation with Jesse Hassenger on Thanksgiving, music, and his second novel, Start Without Me, out now from HarperCollins.
Without the need for description, and with the supposed thousand words per illustration, graphic novelists are allowed quiet moments of focus that might be dull or ponderous–or even nigh-impossible–to convey with straight prose. In Bottomless Belly Button, cartoonist Dash Shaw takes this technique to an extreme, decompressing what might typically, in prose form, be material for a short story or a novella into 700 pages of evocative panels: three grown siblings reunite at their childhood home after learning that their elderly parents have decided to split up.
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