Posts Tagged: The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #94: David Burr Gerrard

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David Burr Gerrard’s new novel The Epiphany Machine is one of the more ambitious books you’ll read this year, centering on a device that can reveal the epiphany of your life by tattooing the words onto your arm. “ABANDONS WHAT MATTERS MOST” is just one example of the sort of permanent self-owns that get written on the flesh of characters in his funny and riveting novel.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #93: Barbara Browning

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When I requested an interview from Barbara Browning to talk about her new novel, The Gift, she agreed and asked if I had a favorite song she could cover for me on the ukulele. Browning possesses many gifts—she is an accomplished dancer, novelist, performance artist, theorist, teacher, and self-described amateur musician—and The Gift is a rumination on the relationship between artistic giftedness and gift economies, an idea Browning borrowed from Lewis Hyde’s text by the same name.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #92: Bud Smith

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It’s hard to say when I first became aware of Bud Smith’s writing. I’m sure it was online; his work is fairly ubiquitous here—an essay here, a poem there, a short story someplace else. He’s got a few books under his belt to boot, the stellar F-250 and Calm Face, as well as the most recent, Dust Bunny City, for which his wife, Rae Buleri, did the brilliant illustrations.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #91: Meghan Lamb

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Author Meghan Lamb‘s new novel, Silk Flowers (Birds of Lace, March 2017), is a book that cuts to the core of disturbance. In it, a woman is struck by an inexplicable and undiagnosable illness that renders her immobile and takes away her ability to speak.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #90: Erika Carter

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Erika Carter’s debut novel Lucky You tells the story of three young women in their early twenties who leave their waitressing jobs in an Arkansas college town to embark on a year off grid in the Ozark Mountains. In a remote house, without a washing machine or cell phone reception, Ellie, Chloe, and Rachel grapple with questions of identity, purpose, and what it means to be human.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #89: Isabel Greenberg

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Isabel Greenberg is a London-based illustrator and writer. She studied illustration at the University of Brighton and has written for a variety of outlets including the Guardian, Nobrow Press, The National Trust, Seven Stories Press, and the New York Times.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #88: Sarah Gerard

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Sarah Gerard’s dazzling second book, Sunshine State, is a collection of essays interlacing narrative nonfiction and personal essay. The thirty-one year old Brooklynite teaches nonfiction and writes a monthly column for Hazlitt. She has received rave reviews from the New York Times, NPR, and The Millions.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #85: Elizabeth Metzger

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I have known the poet Elizabeth Metzger since kindergarten—and ever since I have known her, she has been a poet. When we played the The Game of Life, a board game, she wrote small lyrics about the futures we ended the game with; when I had a crush, she wrote light verse about the boys I swooned over; when I was reading Redwall and Lord of the Rings, she was reading Emily Dickinson.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #83: Lauren Grodstein

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After writing several books (A Friend of the Family, The Explanation for Everything) from a male point of view, Lauren Grodstein’s new novel, Our Short History, is an intimate glimpse into a woman’s life, at a critical juncture between life and death.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #82: Cecil Castellucci

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The artistic oeuvre of Cecil Castellucci is dauntingly varied and vast. A singer/songwriter, a playwright, a librettist, she is also the author of many books, ranging from the picture book Grandma’s Gloves (winner of the California Book Award Gold Medal) to the YA novels Boy Proof, Tin Star, and the part comic, part prose novel The Year of the Beasts.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #81: Chanelle Benz

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Chanelle Benz’s debut collection, The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, is filled with characters often facing a moral crossroads. The stories contain the unexpected, like a classic Western complete with local brothel as well as a gothic tale.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview #80: Jon Raymond

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Jon Raymond is one of Portland’s finest wordsmiths. His writing spans TV, film, short story, novel, art criticism, and a hefty array of magazine work. His new novel, Freebird, is the story of a Californian Jewish family entangled in clashing politics, unspoken histories, and personal dissolve.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #79: Kelcey Parker Ervick

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The woman whose face appears on the Czech five-hundred koruna doesn’t appear there without consequence. During the late 19th century, politically active Božena Němcová was an innovator of Czech literature. Twenty-first century writer Kelcey Parker Ervick continues Němcová’s legacy in her own fairy tale-like work: a biographical collage, The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #78: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

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In 2016, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram’s writing won the Narrative Poetry Contest. Bertram’s work is formally and thematically expansive and this sampling, called “Facts About Deer and Other Poems,” showcases her incredible range. In the poem “They were armed with long guns”—a poem written in ten parts—the sections move between lists, plain declarations like, “You know // where this / is going.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #77: Hauschka

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Lion could be a simple homecoming story, the prodigal son returning to the place he was born. Except, the son in question was six when he left. Now, he’s twenty-six and his story is far from simple. Garth Davis’s film, like his TV offering Top of the Lake, is a beautiful, emotional rollercoaster. 

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #76: Chris Tusa

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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.

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The Rumpus Mini Interview Project #75: Deborah Kampmeier

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I met Deborah Kampmeier at a workshop in November. We were two weeks post-election; the room was raw with emotion, and electric with conversations about resistance. This tall, badass woman dressed in all black sauntered into the room, and chose a seat at the table.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #74: Alexandra Naughton

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Alexandra Naughton is a writer who grew up in Philadelphia but converted to a California girl in 2008. She runs BE ABOUT IT, a small press and reading series and is an active member in Bay Area literary shenanigans.

Over the course of some days I talked via Google Docs, and later email, with Naughton about her first novel American Mary as well as her creative process, writing across genres, and the books that most influenced her.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #73: Maggie Shipstead

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I first met Maggie Shipstead in 2011 when she was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She had not yet published her first novel, Seating Arrangements, which would later become a New York Times bestseller, but even then the magnitude of her ambition, shrewdness, and intellectual generosity was evident.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #72: Laurie Sheck

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Laurie Sheck is the author, most recently, of Island of the Mad, and A Monster’s Notes, a re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. A Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry for The Willow Grove, she has been a Guggenheim Fellow, as well as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. 

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #71: Kris D’Agostino

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In Kris D’Agostino’s second novel, The Antiques, he returns to familiar forms: A dysfunctional family whose members are in various stages of arrested development; a generational home in upstate New York; and the absurdity of life in its most darkly comedic moments.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #70: Jean Conner

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Jean Conner was married to Bruce Conner from 1957 until his death in 2008. As a result, she tends to be overshadowed by her husband’s larger than life reputation as an artist, filmmaker, light show pioneer, and all-around conceptual provocateur. But Jean is a major artist in her own right, continuously pursuing her work as a painter and collagist, of which the recently reissued Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle affords only a tantalizing glimpse.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #69: Steven Schwartz

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Steven Schwartz’s new book, Madagascar: New and Selected Stories, positively aches (often sighs, sometimes chuckles) with wisdom. Steven understands people. He understands why they do what they do, how they feel when they’ve done it, and he understands too how the twists of life can disrupt all of that so people act in peculiar, unexpected ways and respond with surprising acts.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #68: David Kukoff

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“To read,” wrote E.M. Cioran, “is to let someone else do the work for you.” Indeed, David Kukoff has done extensive footwork collecting an array of varied experiences to give us an idea of what it was to live in LA during what might arguably be one of its most pivotal decades.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #67: Anuradha Roy

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A tranquil beach town named Jarmuli is the setting of Anuradha Roy’s third novel, Sleeping on Jupiter, which won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and made the longlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Four older women travel as friends in search of a bucolic vacation, and a young woman, contending with the trauma of her past, finds her stay in Jarmuli tied with theirs.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #66: Reimagining Children’s Literature as Mixtape

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In the best collaborations, creative individuals push themselves to work with new media and singular, wild things issue forth. Jeff Antebi of Waxploitation Records has managed to create just this kind of magic in his book, Stories for Ways and Means.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #63: Patrick Madden

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Patrick Madden teaches writing at Brigham Young University and is the author of the essay collection Quotidiana. His essays frequently appear in literary magazines and have been featured in The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #62: Julian Tepper

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Upon publication of his first novel, Balls, author Julian Tepper received pointed advice from one Philip Roth: quit. What the elder statesman, on the verge of his own retirement, was trying to say is that the writing life is “just torture,” and he should spare himself the suffering.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #61: Thalia Field

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Thalia Field’s latest work, Experimental Animals: (A Reality Fiction), published by Solid Objects, is a novel that makes you wonder anew about the possibilities of the genre. Told in the voice of Marie Francoise “Fanny” Bernard, wife of Claude Bernard, a founder of physiology and zealous practitioner of vivisection, the book is the culmination of over a decade of research and work.

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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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