On Finding Shade in the Spotlight

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How much do we know an author after reading his or her work? What right does a reader have to criticize or judge an author’s writing?

Sarah Gerard, whose novel Binary Star was just reviewed on The Rumpus, and Ben Fama, who we recently interviewed about his book of poetry, Fantasy, compare notes on navigating the public and the private, the online and the offline selves. In the end, Gerard writes, what she needs to survive harsh Internet words may just be “a nap, and some privacy. And maybe a genuine hug.”


You can find Charley Locke's journalism on WIRED, tweets @CHARLEY_LOCKE, and drawings on her parents' fridge. You can also sometimes spot Charley imperiously making book recommendations while managing the McSweeney's Pop-Up Shops. More from this author →