Posts Tagged: empathy

In a Quicksand of Language: A Conversation with Krys Lee

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Krys Lee discusses her debut novel, How I Became a North Korean, having empathy for people and characters, and finding the balance between real-world facts and imagination. ...more

Reality Scooped: Talking with Tony Tulathimutte

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Recent Whiting Award winner Tony Tulathimutte discusses his first novel, Private Citizens, the state of satire in 2017, “booby-trapping” identity politics, and productivity in the Internet age. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with George Saunders

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George Saunders discusses his new (and first) novel Lincoln in the Bardo, Donald Trump, and a comprehensive theory of literature. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Naomi Jackson

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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

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #60: Leah Kaminsky

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Leah Kaminsky’s debut novel, The Waiting Room, depicts one fateful day in the life of an Australian doctor and mother, Dina, living in Haifa, Israel. Dina is trying to maintain normalcy as she goes about her work as a family doctor, cares for her son, and fights to preserve her faltering relationship with her husband, with whom she’s expecting a daughter.

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Song of the Day: “Lord, Help the Poor and Needy”

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Maybe growing up with a father who was a Jehovah’s Witness caused Charlyn Marie “Chan” Marshall to develop a sensitivity to the plight of the unlucky and underprivileged. Then again, Marshall, who is widely known by her stage name Cat Power, might also have an artist’s innate empathy and receptiveness to others’ pain—something that we, as a nation, could stand to develop ourselves.

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The Rumpus Interview with Robin MacArthur

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Robin MacArthur discusses her debut story collection Half Wild, life in rural Vermont, and how narrative—and fiction—is key to reaching across what divides us. ...more

The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Solmaz Sharif

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Solmaz Sharif discusses her new collection Look, the difference between nearness and similarity, and the level of ownership we have over stories. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Garrard Conley

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Garrard Conley, author of the new memoir Boy Erased, discusses growing up in the deep South, mothers, writing for change, and political delusions. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Charles Bock

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Charles Bock discusses his new novel, Alice & Oliver, the challenges of writing from experience, and how art and life can mirror one another. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Rob Roberge

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Rob Roberge talks about his new memoir, Liar, the differences between writing fiction and writing memoir, and why every narrator is an unreliable narrator. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Sunil Yapa

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Sunil Yapa discusses his debut novel, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, radical empathy, growing up surrounded by politics, and losing the first draft of his novel in Chile. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Meline Toumani

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Meline Toumani discusses her debut, There Was and There Was Not, the rewards and risks of writing a political memoir, and what it means to approach a divided past and future. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Matt Bell

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Author Matt Bell talks video games, fiction, nonfiction, politics, empathy, and his new books, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Scrapper. ...more

The Rumpus Three-Way Interview: An Incomplete Catharsis

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Carmiel Banasky, Alexandra Kleeman, and Matthew Salesses on their new novels, writing from a place of tension, and how our writing changes as we do. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Etgar Keret

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Writer Etgar Keret talks about his new memoir The Seven Good Years, the early criticism he faced as a writer, and the surreal that is always waiting. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Kate Walbert

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Author Kate Walbert talks about her new novel, The Sunken Cathedral, about the way cities change over time, and her approach to using footnotes in fiction. ...more

“Yes. Of course. But yet. Anyway.”

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Harper’s Magazine interviews Leslie Jamison about her debut, home-run collection of essays, The Empathy Exams: Essays. On the complications (and yet! necessity) of empathy, Jamison writes:

So there’s a lot of danger attached to empathy: it might be self-serving or self-absorbed; it might lead our moral reasoning astray, or supplant moral reasoning entirely.

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Reading Makes You Better At Life

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A degree in English may make your job search harder, but it makes empathy and social interaction easier, according to a study conducted by some people who had more practical majors.

The study, published in Science, found that literary fiction like Dostoevsky or Louise Erdrich enhanced subjects’ ability to read others’ emotions more than did popular fiction or “nonfiction that was well-written, but not literary or about people.”

Erdrich’s take on the matter: “This is why I love science….[They] found a way to prove true the intangible benefits of literary fiction….Thank God the research didn’t find that novels increased tooth decay or blocked up your arteries.”

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