Mila Jaroniec talks about her debut novel Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover,” writing autofiction, the surprising similarity between selling sex toys and selling books, and the impact of having a baby on editing. ...more
Naomi Jackson discusses her debut novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill, how she approached writing about mental illness and its affects on a family, and choosing to to tell a story from multiple perspectives. ...more
For a band wreathed with as many indictments as laurels, as many charges of settling into post-avant-garde “dad-rock” as praise for their artistry, it’s no surprise that Wilco’s always been preoccupied with getting reborn....more
Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, Chris Tusa’s second novel, In the City of Falling Stars(Livingston Press, September 2016), tells a tale of paranoia and intrigue. Maurice Delahoussaye witnesses dead birds falling from the sky, and becomes convinced the air is toxic. With equal parts humor and depravity, the novel chronicles a fractured family amidst a crumbling city and examines the withering psyche of a man prone to obsession. Of Maurice’s mental state, the author writes:
I’m a soldier, Maurice thought, a soldier of the Lord. As he stood there, a frenzy of static-filled visions flashed in the back of his brain—a glowing heart tangled in flames and thorns, stars falling from the sky like rain, the black cries of a baby mingled with a melee of bloody screams— all swarming around in his brain like a crackling burst of signals bouncing off a satellite dish. He took another swig of Maalox, imagining the ulcers bleeding in his gut, his insides sacred and glowing.
I spoke with Tusa in person in late October about how he approached writing about Hurricane Katrina, what makes mentally unstable characters so compelling, and using humor in unique ways. (more…)
Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia. Check in with us every Thursday for a weekly roundup of the most pertinent content on our country, which is currently spiraling down a crappy toilet drain. You owe it to yourself, your community, and your humanity to contribute whatever you can, even if it is just awareness of the truth.
The 2017 Whiting Award winners were announced today. The award gives ten emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry a significant cash infusion ($50,000). Previous award winners include Jeffrey Eugenides, David Foster Wallace, Denis Johnson, Mary Karr, and Elif Batuman. For this edition of This Week in Essays, we are linking to work by the 2017 award winners. Congratulations to each of them! (more…)
Noe Valley’s Word Week 2017 presents a panel discussion: “Immigrant Writers on Embodying 2 Cultures at Once.” Participants include Kirsten Chen, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Andrew Lam, and Juliana Delgado Lopera. Free, 7 p.m., Noe Valley Public Library.
[Tinti] has cleverly illustrated the tender relationship between a father and his little girl, the respect a daughter has for her dad, and the lengths that both of them will travel to protect one another.(more...)
The story told in “Unofficial History” took place soon after I moved to a remote Kentucky farm from Washington, DC, where I worked for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Department of Oral History. It might seem that a 21st-century farm in the Bluegrass State is about as far as you can get from the landscape of the Holocaust. Yet after listening to hundreds of hours of survivor testimony, I know that during the Holocaust, small European farms—farms not unlike my own—were often places of terror, and occasionally places of refuge.
Welcome to This Week in Books, where we highlight books just released by small and independent presses. Books have always been a symbol for and means of spreading knowledge and wisdom, and they are an important part of our toolkit in fighting for social justice. If we’re going to move our national narrative away from one of hate and fear, we need books that display empathy, that help us understand different points of view, that show us we aren’t alone, that feed our spirits.