It was a really big deal for me that a Sri Lankan publisher picked it up. I didn’t grow up there, and I didn’t go through [the war], so there’s always been a question of legitimacy. When I was at the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation (VONA) workshop in 2011, I had these tremendous concerns: “I’m Sri Lankan, and I’m writing about the war, but I live in America.
Posts Tagged: Guernica
Guernica speaks with literary agent Chris Parris-Lamb, who built a career around selling Chad Harbach‘s debut novel The Art of Fielding for a reported $665,000. Since then, he has sold novels like Wolf In White Van and coming later this year, City of Fire, a 900-page tome for a rumored seven-figure sale....more
For all her artistic clout, critics continue to dismiss Miranda July as “cutesy” and “twee,” labels that reflect an inability to distinguish between her work and her persona. Over at Guernica, Tin House editor Rob Spillman argues in defense of whimsy:
Part of the reason that some find July’s literary success so galling is that she is not simply a novelist; she is “Miranda July” a continuingly evolving conceptual art project, as well as the writer, director, and star of two movies.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Alissa Nutting has given us the story of a woman with a transparent panel covering her beating heart. Her story, “The Transparency Project,” arrived via Guernica online post on Tuesday. This story revives the playful Nutting of her 2010 story collection, Unclean Jobs for Girls and Women, after her departure into the darker world of a teacher seducing her students with her 2013 novel, Tampa....more
What I should have learned back then, but did not, and in fact took at least another twenty years to fully learn, is that such claims are not at all about “demonic power,” “demonic possession,” or even “the Devil,” but are actually about demonization.
At Guernica, Rebecca Saleton, the editorial director of Riverhead Books who has worked with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Peter Matthiessen, talks about her experience in publishing over the last 30 years and how she still believes that readers are, in fact, interested in ideas:
We can get so carried away with the idea that story is everything that we can forget that people actually want ideas too.
The truth is that the horror of being eaten outpaces the horror of death by any other means. Microbe, animal, another human: being consumed feels sharper, entirely visceral. But why?
Over at Guernica, Lance Richardson writes on Peter Gorman’s Ayahuasca in My Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming, an ethnographic account of his experiences in the Amazon....more
Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v....more
On Tuesday, Guernica published “Walking on Water,” an excerpt from Payem Faeli’s 2010 novella, I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit… Figs. In this excerpt, translated into English by Sarah Khalili, Faeli provides a meditative taste of the novella’s wandering narrator, a young boy in search of a name....more
As Guernica approaches its 10th anniversary, the online magazine has hired its first full-time publisher and is planning their first-ever print edition. Tori Telfer over at Bustle spoke to Michael Archer, Editor-in-Chief, and publisher Lisa Lucas, about the magazine’s origins (spoiler: Guernica was a bar), managing the magazine, and the future of getting paid to write....more
Raphael Allison, at Guernica, fuses together his experience at this year’s MLA conference in Chicago with the subculture of the modernists in order to discuss the “crisis in the humanities”:
Mods and literary academics are caught between the allure of wildness, ingenuity, and nonconformity and the desire for some sort of stability, recognition, and achievement.
At Guernica, Alexandria Peary observes a fine but lethal distinction between being declined and being rejected, a difference that had very real effects on the literary ambitions of nineteenth-century female writers. While to decline a submission implies thoughtful deliberation over that particular work, rejection is an all-encompassing denouncement of something larger: a category or, in this case, a gender:
Women writers in the nineteenth century—when creative writing really got going as a possible profession—faced more rejections than declines, though probably more than a spoonful of dejection.
The latest issue of Guernica is out, and it’s a doozy. The special issue—the first of 4 such issues funded by a Kickstarter campaign—takes on the American South. Features include novelist Kiese Laymon in conversation with his mother on language and love in the South (check out our own interview with Laymon here) and Rumpus contributor Lincoln Michel‘s essay “Lush Rot,” on the deep roots of Southern Gothic tradition....more
Pankaj Mishra has always been a politically outspoken writer, so when Mo Yan, who has defended the Chinese government’s censorship, won the Nobel Prize, Mishra was the last person anyone expected to defend him.
But he did, asking, “Do we ever expose the political preferences of Mo Yan’s counterparts in the West to such harsh scrutiny?”...more
Moving to the US as a person of color isn’t easy, even when you do everything completely above-board, come from a nation friendly with the US, and arrive with a respectable family in tow.
My iris is captured in a biometrics file with the U.S Immigration Service….My deep brown eyes, the eyes that have held the gaze of my beloved, the eyes that look like my mother’s, that my newborn sons searched for and struggled to focus on: these are now U.S territory.
For at least a decade, Americans have been living in the shadow of war and yet, except in pop fiction of the Tom Clancy variety (where, in the end, we always win), there’s remarkably little evidence of it
At Guernica, novelist Beverly Gologorsky takes on the inexplicable absence of war from contemporary fiction and mentions that it is strictly related to social class....more
Saturday 12/7: Natalie Eilbert, Mike Bushnell, Rob Ostrom, and Christie Ann Reynolds inaugurate the Banquet reading series with an evening of poetry. Eilbert is the founder and editor of The Atlas Review. The Banquet series was launched intending to highlight the intersection of poetry performance and audience experience; it is the product of curators Joshua Kleinberg, Alexis Pope, and Dana Jaye Cadman....more
For Guernica, Lauren K. Alleyne interviews Retha Powers, editor of the new Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations, which collects quotes by a rainbow of black sources, from Zora Neale Hurston to NWA to ancient Egypt.
It’s a really interesting glimpse at the necessity and difficulty of distilling the essence of “the black experience” from all the different black experiences in the whole diaspora....more
For Guernica, Jamilah King talks to Daniel Alarcón about his new novel, “Peru’s most notorious prison,” and what it feels like to throw out 400 pages of work and start over:
I showed it to a couple friends with a great deal of weariness and kind of a little bit of hope thinking that they were going to tell me that I was wrong, that this draft was good.
Guernica has a lengthy excerpt up from White Girls, the genre-warping new collection of cultural criticism, personal memoir, and who knows what else by the New Yorker‘s Hilton Als.
It’s complex, challenging, and completely, enthrallingly beautiful, so it’s impossible to choose just one quote to represent it, but here’s an attempt:
We were something dark and unforeseen: two colored gentlemen who moved through the largely white social world we inhabited in New York (the world where art and fashion and journalism converged) who did not exploit each other or our obvious physical traits…for political sympathy or social gain.
“The Golden Gate Bridge was born a metaphor….The span would connect San Francisco with Marin County, engineering with nature, and the past with the future”—and, for a queasily high number of people, life with death.
For Guernica, Candace Opper looks at the history of the legendary bridge’s suicidal jumpers, including interviews with the people who, against all odds, survived the fall....more