Interviews Archive

“Part of What the Novel is About is the Gimmicks That We Put on as Individuals”: An Interview with Chris McCormick

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Chris McCormick’s debut novel represents American identity—full of choice and individualism, though not in as positive a manner as we would like to believe.

“The CIA had a huge role in shaping mid-century literature”: An Interview with Lara Prescott

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Lara Prescott’s thrilling debut novel focuses on the CIA’s efforts to smuggle and distribute Boris Pasternak’s legendary novel. But it takes a subversive approach, telling the story from the perspective of the unsung women, at both the CIA and in Soviet Russia, who made Pasternak’s legend possible.

“One of the things I love most about literature is the possibility of inhabiting someone else’s consciousness”: An Interview with Kawai Strong Washburn

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From four perspectives, Washburn’s new novel tells the story of a family slipping apart, colliding with the rest of the world, hoping for the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams.

“I think historically art and literature have had a role in social and political change”: An Interview with Deb Olin Unferth

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Deb Olin Unferth’s latest foray into the socio-political, an action-adventure novel with touches of humor, is built around an anti-big-ag upheaval though rooted in the fragile relationships we cling to in a chaotic, inspiring, and often difficult world.

“We’re standing on the edge of the cliff”: An Interview with Lauren Groff

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Following the conclusion of her Climate Visionaries project undertaken with Greenpeace, Jason Katz speaks with Lauren Groff about writing climate fiction, her climate-related work, and talking to our youngest about climate change.

“I’m telling these stories for an audience, but I also want to digest this experience for myself”: An Interview with Poupeh Missaghi

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Poupeh Missaghi’s debut novel follows a protagonist obsessed with finding out why Tehran’s statues are disappearing. It’s an experimental hybrid work that combines a traditional novel narrative with quotes from theorists and writers, dossier-style notes on people who have been made to disappear after death, and poetry.

“This book feels like engaging in a larger conversation”: An Interview with Charles Yu

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Yu is a master at mixing the artful, the humorous, and the meaningful atop new landscapes, and his new novel, the first to delve into conversations around race and ethnicity, is no exception.

“We are forgetting what has already happened in Cancún”: An Interview with Juan Villoro

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The satirization of the all-inclusive resort, a symbol of international tourism, could only be accomplished in a meaningful way by a titan of Mexican letters like Juan Villoro. Not only does he have the qualifications, but he has a unique capacity to create absurdist characters.

“I just went with my gut (and shut down my ego) and let the story tell itself”: An Interview with Mira Ptacin

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Mira Ptacin’s new book is an exploration of Spiritualism’s history and its place in the current landscape of American faith practices. It also shows us, through the personal story Ptacin includes, how Spiritualism can help those still living and grieving after a loved one has died.

“I am a wanderer”: An Interview with Susan Straight

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Straight’s new memoir is part family history, part memoir, part love letter to her daughters, part US history, part reading list, and partly a discussion of the amorphous concept of the heroine’s journey. Like its author, the book is never one thing; it rests on opposite ends of various