Posts by: Ben Pfeiffer


The Rumpus Interview with Whitney Terrell


Whitney Terrell discusses war, gender, and fiction vs. reality in his new novel, The Good Lieutenant, about a female soldier in Iraq. ...more

Brendan Jones.Credit James Poulson

The Rumpus Interview with Brendan Jones


Brendan Jones talks about his debut novel, The Alaskan Laundry, living in Alaska, his time as a Wallace Stegner Fellow, and living and loving what you write. ...more

Dean Koontz for Penguin Random House

The Rumpus Interview with Dean Koontz


Dean Koontz talks about his newest novel, Ashley Bell, overcoming self-doubt, and “what this incredibly beautiful language of ours allows you to do.” ...more


The Rumpus Interview with Brian Shawver


Author Brian Shawver talks about his new book, Danger on the Page, his novel Aftermath, MFA programs, and why it’s a good thing that writing never stops being hard work. ...more

Erik Larson, author

The Rumpus Interview with Erik Larson


Bestselling author Erik Larson talks about his new book, Dead Wake, his transition from journalism to history, and what, in his opinion, makes a first-rate nonfiction novel. ...more


The Rumpus Interview with Richard Ford


Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Richard Ford discusses his new book, Let Me Be Frank With You, how metaphor shapes our world, and why he doesn't like the idea he has a battery to recharge. ...more

Wise Men

“Wise Men,” by Stuart Nadler


In a certain kind of story, characters reflect and explore the financial world outside their narrative. A population left destitute by the American Civil War, for example, found hope in 1867 when Horatio Alger published Ragged Dick, a myth promising that honesty and hard work could take you from the poverty of a bootblack to the slightly less soul-crushing poverty of the lower-middle class.


The Rainbow Troops

“The Rainbow Troops,” by Andrea Hirata


Hirata’s romantic style, combined with attendant detail, form a controlled, cohesive vision. His passion for education and his criticism of the corporate state are tempered by humor and context, and structured around a framework of specifics: Ikal’s school, friends, and teachers. Whatever you call it—novel, memoir—The Rainbow Troops provides plenty of heartfelt prose for readers inclined to cultural tourism, and for those who find themselves missing the tiny, ramshackle village school, Hirata has written three sequels to Laskar Pelangi, books that might someday find their way to English-speaking readers. ...more



The Watery Part of the World, by Michael Parker


Michael Parker’s The Watery Part of the World opens two-hundred years ago on the shores of Nag’s Head, North Carolina, a sandbank notorious for pirates who once lured ships onto the shoals for the usual rape-and-plunder reasons. Such an attack has just taken place as the book begins, and this time the lone survivor is Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of U.S.