Primal Urges

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Alexander Matthews interviews Colm Toíbín for Aerodrome, touching on Toíbín’s transition from journalism and poetry to fiction, coming out, therapy, expatriatism, and the fallacy of self-expression. Toíbín describes the writing process—and writing life—as a “basic urge to communicate levels of feeling—things from the nervous system, and from memory, to other people. In the same way as when people went hunting many thousands of years ago, someone stayed behind to paint the hunter on the walls of the cave.”


Kirstin Allio is currently a Howard Foundation Fellow at Brown University. Her story collection, Clothed, Female Figure comes out with Dzanc in 2016. Her novel, Garner (Coffee House), was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award for First Fiction. She has received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Award, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, and has published many short stories, poems, and essays. More from this author →