Posts Tagged: How to Set a Fire and Why

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #57: Jesse Ball

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It can be hard to describe a Jesse Ball novel. They’re willfully strange, dark and puzzling, but the pieces aren’t always designed to fit together. Instead, each of his books, which are always written in the first person, have a tendency to take the reader into the heads of the lead characters, which is often […]

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An Interview Goes Both Ways

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An unorthodox conversation, or experimental, two-way interview between Jesse Ball and Catherine Lacey at BOMB yields miscommunication, communication, repetition, randomness, push, pull, aphorism, and wisdom. On reading contemporary literature, Ball says: There’s something pernicious about work that is from your specific time because of all the prejudices that are invisible at this moment… I think we’re […]

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This Week in Short Fiction

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One of this year’s highly anticipated new novels is Jesse Ball’s How to Set a Fire and Why, forthcoming from Pantheon in July, about an intelligent and troubled teenage girl who takes an interest in arson. A standalone excerpt in Granta this week, titled “Lucia Series,” gives us a small taste that involves no fire, […]

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