Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘characterization’

Interviews |

Fuck Sentimentality: An Interview with Robert Olen Butler

“To love and to express it is to be vulnerable. To create works of art is to be vulnerable, and it’s hard for people to let themselves be vulnerable. Especially in this world, where the internet lets us democratically savage one another, it’s even scarier, but the courage to be an artist means also the courage to love and to express it.” So says Robert Olen Butler in this candid interview with Emily Alford.

Interviews |

Grunge Rock, Nabokov, and the Threat of Nuclear Apocalypse: An Interview with Tyler McMahon

Tyler McMahon’s new novel, How the Mistakes Were Made, is a tragedy set to rock and roll. In this conversation with Caleb Winters, McMahon recalls the paranoia of Cold War America, shares his experiences touring with a band, and reveals how writing can be like church.

Essays |

The Sorrow and Grace of My People’s Waltz, by Dale Ray Phillips

Forrest Anderson on the semester he “caught fire as a writer,” when Ron Rash handed him a life-changing copy of Dale Ray Phillips’s debut, My People’s Waltz. Anderson describes the exquisite moments of grace in the collection when “all of the bad things to come are brewing on the horizon but haven’t yet managed to fully snag the family.”

Interviews |

The Cruel Riddle of History: An Interview with Jonathan Evison

Aaron Cance interviews Jonathan Evison about his new novel, West of Here, a rich and complex self-examination, a study of the struggle between the human need to move forward and the historical inertia that is the result of our congested lifestyles. Its flawed, yet sympathetic cast of characters is compelling, as are the philosophical questions it poses. Although it will assuredly take its rightful place in the canon of American Western fiction, readers would do well to think of this work as something more than just another novel.

Interviews |

Fundamentalism and Compassion: An Interview with Jess Row

Jess Row’s second collection of stories, Nobody Ever Gets Lost, is an examination of some of our most intense impulses, and the debates, quandaries, and mysteries in these seven stories will stay with you. Charlotte Boulay talks to Jess Row about the intersection between compassion and extremism.

Reviews |

You Know When the Men Are Gone, by Siobhan Fallon

Siobhan Fallon’s debut story collection You Know When the Men Are Gone lets readers into a secret world of military families. Behind perfectly manicured lawns and Family Readiness Groups, Fallon’s stories reveal the stress of repeated deployment, wounded service members, and the difficulties of homecoming. Beth Garland, herself a military spouse, reviews a collection infused with “grief, heroism, and bitter disappointment.”

Reviews |

Binocular Vision, by Edith Pearlman

In Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories, Edith Pearlman grabs the reader’s attention and never lets it go. In this review, Andrea Nolan looks at some of Pearlman’s first lines and examines how her stories are united through character, theme, and place.

Reviews |

A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism, by Peter Mountford

A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism is not your grandfather’s expat novel. In this smart debut, Peter Mountford rolls up his sleeves and delivers a crash course in Latin American history, contemporary economics, and international politics—all within a page-turning story about the dreams and gaffes of a twenty-something American working for an unscrupulous hedge fund in Bolivia.