Taking a Bath with Joshua Cohen

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Joshua Cohen is making the rounds to promote his latest novel, Book of Numbers. A prolific book reviewer, Cohen is also already working on a fifth novel. At VICE, Thomas Morton decided to take a bath with Cohen to discuss the latest book. The two headed out to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn to talk books at Mermaid Spa:

While we took a mid-fruit smoke break on the banya’s smoking porch (Russians), it occurred to me that Joshua was one of the only authors I’d met who didn’t consciously write like he spoke or, as observed, speak like he wrote. Which was a relief, since his written diction is an esteem-blasting babel of 99-cent words like catholicon, eloign, and unmullioned, even when he’s not combing ancient Vedic prosody manuals to program his characters’ speech.


Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →