Posts Tagged: unlikeable characters

The Rumpus Mini Interview #106: Louise Marburg

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The stories [in THE TRUTH ABOUT ME], like Marburg herself, are insightful, witty, to the point, and told with her wonderfully dry sense of humor. ...more

As Long as What Is Said Is Understood: Talking with Lesley Nneka Arimah

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Lesley Nneka Arimah discusses her debut collection What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, mother-daughter relationships, and the pleasures of genre fiction. ...more

The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Jaimee Wriston Colbert

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Life’s inequities can be cruel, but in the end we are all part of our communities; suffering though we may be, we are not alone. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Nina Stibbe

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Author Nina Stibbe discusses her new novel Paradise Lodge, our obsession with character likeability, and how she more than flirts with feminism. ...more

Unlikable and Unapologetic

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Supposedly “unlikable” female characters are often the most complex, humanly flawed, and interesting ones—yet many readers are perturbed by such representations of women. In an excerpt from her collection The Geek Feminist Revolution, Kameron Hurley muses on the reasons why female protagonists are uniquely expected to be likable:

When you find yourself reading about a gun-slinging, whisky-drinking, Mad Max apocalypse hero who you’d love if it was a guy but find profoundly uncomfortable to read about when you learn it’s a woman, take a step back and ask why that is.

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VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color: Tania James

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Tania James discusses her most recent novel, The Tusk That Did the Damage, the challenges of writing an elephant narrator, and the moment when she knew she could be a writer. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Louisa Hall

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Author Louisa Hall discusses her latest novel, Speak, the future of artificial intelligence, and how playing squash taught her a love of literary technique. ...more

The Saturday Rumpus Essay: On Madness and Mad Men

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In my eight years as a Mad Men fan, the series has repeatedly prompted me to reflect on parenting. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Deborah Reed

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Author Deborah Reed discusses her latest novel, Olivay, the necessity of fire, Los Angeles anxiety, and how she found fulfillment at the edge of the American West. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Ottessa Moshfegh

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Ottessa Moshfegh discusses her first full-length novel, Eileen, betrayal, self-aware narrators, and the catalytic properties of friendship. ...more

Popularity Contest

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Traditionally, the Unlikeable Character in fiction is created with authorial intention. You, as the reader, recognize the cues that the person you’re reading about is alienating or reprehensible, and it’s clear that such characterization is part of author’s aesthetic project… But what if a character isn’t Unlikeable, but unlikeable? 

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