Jennifer Marie Donahue talks with Liz Breazeale about her debut collection, Extinction Events, writing obsessions, story structure, trusting in your individual strangeness, and the powerful feminist and contemporary issues Breazeale explores in her work.
“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.
In Part II of Shawn Andrew Mitchell’s interview with Charles Yu, the two writers continue their conversation by discussing the management of time in and out of fiction, Realism, and human-to-robot consciousness transfer.
In his novel Animals, we follow Don LePan’s characters into a not-too-distant future, where human beings with birth defects are slaughtered as edible products. Readers’ sense of injustice will be roused by LePan’s descriptions of suffering in the feedlots–but can a novel inspire us to stop eating factory-farmed meat? Laura Roberts hopes it can.
I don’t know about you, but when I see a movie after reading the book on which it’s based, I almost always prefer the book to the movie. Okay, there are exceptions: The Lovely Bones, for instance, where I prefered the film, and The Princess Bride—I love both the movie and William Golding’s novel deeply, and differently. But when it comes to Harry Potter, I land firmly on the book side. For me, much of the fun is in the details of Rowling’s world: the Fizzing Whizbees and Puking Pastilles, the elaborate recipes for Polyjuice Potion and the Draught of […]
Alissa Nutting has “story” written in ink on every page of Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, her lively, well-imagined, and jaw-droppingly smart prize-winning debut. Imagine Donald Barthelme writing smart feminine narratives, Mary Gaitskill sans the kinky sex, or Margaret Atwood turning to dry, Colbert-style humor, and you may start to get an idea of what to expect.
NPR’s Marion Winik has called Janice Eidus’s latest novel, The Last Jewish Virgin, “Twilight…with a sense of humor, a brain, and a feminist subtext.” At the Algonquin hotel, Eidus talks with Lauren Hall about paying homage to—and reinventing—the vampire myth; judging a book by its cover; and writing longhand in the mountains of San Miguel de Allende.
If you are what you eat, what happens when someone else eats what you are? In Aimee Bender’s latest novel, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, 9-year old Rose first experiences this conundrum when she tastes her mother’s birthday cake, only to come away with the uncomfortable understanding of her mother’s lonely dissatisfaction with life. The cake betrays the inner feelings of the cook. Over the course of the novel and Rose’s life, the predicament continues, building to an unwanted fixation of what constitutes food and those who grow and prepare it.
Erika at Practicing Writing pointed us to this great post at The Guardian on real-life characters in fiction. Writes blogger Meg Rosoff: Six hundred words were suggested to tackle the important question of whether it is “right and fair” to fictionalise real-life characters. I could answer it in 15. Do what you like, only do it well – and don’t expect the relatives to approve. The possibilities for intersecting “real life” and fiction are many. Some works, like E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime sprinkle real-life personnages across their pages; others, like Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prizewinning Wolf Hall, base the story upon […]