“As anyone who has tried it knows, simply withholding information is no guarantee that the reader will continue patiently, or eagerly”: Peter Turchi on the strategic release of information in fiction, with assists from Colson Whitehead and Toni Morrison.
“I love work that examines what it’s like to be a woman struggling to act as an autonomous person inside a place or a culture that’s very invested in telling you how to act, how to do your gender”: Ashley Wurzbacher talks with Lee Thomas about her debut collection, Happy Like This, the complexity of female friendships, resisting gender narratives, and more.
“Olive, Again is in some ways—but not all—a surprising sort of sequel, just as Olive Kitteridge is a continually surprising person: blunt and gruff, but increasingly capable of both insight and empathy.”
“My most general advice to writers working on historical fiction is to do as I say, and not as I did, and to try to relax at least a little, and trust in both the power, and the necessity, of imagination”: Caitlin Horrocks talks with Marian Crotty about her novel, The Vexations, as well as how short fiction helped her prepare for a longer project, her work as an editor at Kenyon Review, and more.
“I come from patriarchy, and I would like to have written myself out of it. Strong female forces commanded several generations. The women were bent and sometimes destroyed by the pressure to submit, and the stories, the narrative drives, kept coming up male.” Terese Svoboda talks with Steven Wingate about her new short story collection and our species’ long-term relationship with the open spaces of the Midwest.
“I think the book isn’t grim because Ben is a loving, mischievous person first, and a person with disabilities second.” Lynn Sloan sits down with Julie Justicz to discuss her debut novel, Degrees of Difficulty, out now from Fomite Press.
“I love that short stories are tales—that you need to hold somebody’s attention the way you would if you were talking to them. With novels, it’s a Scheherazade situation, and you’re trying to get them to come back and stay.” Carrie Messenger talks with Jennifer Solheim about her debut collection, as well as fairy tales, Eastern European history, translation, and more.
“I’m Costa Rican-Colombian-American. And to constantly try to explain yourself with a hyphen, with saying you’re a little bit of this and a little bit of that, is tiresome and disorienting.” Stephanie Jimenez talks with Danielle Lazarin about the complexities of female friendships, self-knowledge, how we market literature, and more.
“A book only works when a reader understands it, and that is not always what a writer can judge.” Kate Lemery sits down with Tracy Chevalier to talk about reading, art, process, and her latest novel, A Single Thread, out now from Viking.