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Thank You, Magical (But Horrible) World: An Interview with Elena Passarello

Talking to Elena Passarello is like talking to a human Wikipedia, but one that sings and leaps to show its excitement for the subject at hand. Before attending the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, she worked in theater, and her masterful grasp of her own voice, and her infectious sense of wonder […]

Posted in General, Interviews

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Dear Reader: A Q&A with Claire Fuller

This month’s Dear Reader writer-in-residence at Ace Hotel New York is Claire Fuller, author of the Desmond Elliott Prize-winning Our Endless Numbered Days and the critically acclaimed Swimming Lessons.

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Dear Reader: A Q&A with Jenny Zhang

It’s our second month curating Dear Reader for Ace Hotel New York, and we think we could get used to this!

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Swimming Lessons: An Interview with Claire Fuller

  Claire Fuller’s Swimming Lessons has only been on sale for a little over a week, and already the reception is thrilling. Tonight Claire will be in conversation with Jenny Offill at McNally Jackson and, if you can make it, we hope to see you there.  Conversations with Claire are rich—I learn something new every time […]

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Dear Reader: A Q&A with Garnette Cadogan

Garnette Cadogan talks about surprising himself with his work, writing for his best and worst selves, and the creative importance of kitchen counters.

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Ask a Librarian: What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Found in a Library Book?

Inspired by Swimming Lessons, we went to the experts in unexpected ephemera and well-loved books—librarians—and asked them to tell us the most interesting thing they’d found in a library book.

Posted in From Tin House Books, Interviews

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Consider This Case: An Interview with Melissa Yancy

This has been a tumultuous year for us all, and Melissa’s Yancy’s own life has seen its share of momentous changes. Her debut story collection, Dog Years, won the University of Pittsburgh Press’s Drue Heinz Literature Prize, she received a coveted NEA fellowship, and also gave birth to her first child. In the midst of […]

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The Fact and the Shadow: A Conversation with Thalia Field and Laurie Sheck

Laurie Sheck and Thalia Field are writers who train in the fire. For decades, their work has broadened our sense of what a text might do and be by mining the fissures between genres, reanimating voices from history and science, and setting match to existing forms for the sake of inventing them again. In their […]

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Tasting Onigiri: An Interview With Kelly Luce

The hours and years I spent on this book, imagining the characters and scenes, were hours and years spent remembering and reliving experiences I had in Japan, and people I met there. All the feelings and memories came back, for better or worse. I could never set a story in a place where I haven’t spent significant time. I need to be imprinted by a place before I can conjure it in my imagination.

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Standing with Standing Rock: An Interview with Waniya Locke

In September, my nine-year old daughter and I went to the Standing Rock Reservation, where we joined the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1200-mile pipeline set to carry fracked oil under the Missouri River and through the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. For the last few years, I […]

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A Writer Is Not Smarter Than Literature: An Interview with Eliot Weinberger

I try to write my essays like poetry, listening to the sound, trying to include telling images. There are no rules or general description for these details. They hit me when, in my research, I discover them and, as a writer, I hope they’ll hit someone else.

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Get Up Every Day and Do an Unseen Thing: A Conversation with Nicholas Mainieri

I first encountered Nicholas Mainieri’s fiction in those great baseball issues that Hobart used to put out every spring. His first published story “The Tools of Ignorance,” which appeared in the spring of 2008 and was titled after an old nickname for a catcher’s gear, carried itself with such authority and deep-in-the-grain understanding of our […]

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Shelter in Place: An Interview with Alexander Maksik

Natalie Bakopoulos and Alexander Maksik met at a book festival in 2013, after Bakopoulos reviewed Maksik’s second novel, A Marker to Measure Drift, for the San Francisco Chronicle. Since then, they have continued a conversation about books and writing. This interview took place over email in September 2016, regarding the publication of Maksik’s third novel, Shelter in Place. […]

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A Tribe Looking for Home: An Interview with Elissa Altman

Elissa Altman can write you an appetizing culinary scene, but she’d really rather not. While it’s true she wrote about the glories of home cooking in her James Beard Award-winning blog and first book, Poor Man’s Feast, her new memoir finds her more interested in the sensation of wrongness: the clothes that aren’t you, the […]

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The Poetry of War: A Conversation between Roy Scranton and Nick Flynn

I wanted to present the war as I saw it, which was as a private driving a humvee in Baghdad. And the war I saw was a complete shitshow.

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The Last Sign You’ll Ever Read: An Interview with John Reed

I am sappy when it comes to love. I’m one of the first in line for a romantic comedy, even the ones that are simply a distraction from the heat, rain, or mosquitos. John Reed’s wonderful new book Free Boat: Collected Lies and Love Poems gives me that same type of humor, love and quirkiness that […]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

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Dream Team: An Interview with Imbolo Mbue

I was interested in examining both sides of the American Dream—those striving to achieve it and those who’d already achieved it and were equally striving to hold unto it. These pursuits take a toll on both families in the novel, as it does on countless families in America, regardless of which side of the Dream they’re on. In addition to their struggles, the Edwardses and the Jongas are also interdependent on each other and this gives the characters powers over one another, powers which they wield differently to keep their dreams alive.

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Pepper Parker, Vintage Books

When I think about it, it feels like the books I recommend have almost become my children, and I’m anxious to see them prosper, and want to make sure that when they go out into the world they will be loved. Probably, if I were simply a reader, I wouldn’t take it all so personally.

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Mike Gustafson, Literati Bookstore

I think people read to have realities either shattered or enhanced. Reading preference, for me, depends on the time of year. During winter — when I’m isolated from the outside world and there’s a Polar Vortex bursting through my 100-year-old house — I want to shatter my perception of reality. I’m ready for reality-shattering, with covers pulled up and curtains drawn.

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Dismissing the Captain: An Interview with Rivka Galchen

It’s a bad habit of mine, passing quick judgment on strangers and friends—readerly and writerly friends—who haven’t read someone whose work was been so essential for me. I can know that we all have our blind spots, that it’s not as if books expire, and so on, while simultaneously finding myself deeply frustrated, because how […]

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Ecstatic Beauty and White Nights: An Interview with Annie DeWitt

The way, Dave said, to produce the correct sound, is to always think above the note. To land on it. And then open your throat and raise your soft palette to create as much space as you can at the roof of your mouth. I think of crafting sentences in much the same way. It is these slight sonic and spatial adjustments which allow a note to go flat or sharp, to sound nasal or clear.

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Bad Girls: An Interview With Emma Cline

That’s something I did learn while writing this book—often juxtaposition can do the work of intricate plotting, and can be more useful than trying to account for every cause-and-effect or trying to babysit the reading experience. The reader is intelligent, and if I place two narrative threads side by side, I can trust that their brain will understand it was on purpose, and that there are connections to be drawn.

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It is Impossible For a Parisian to Resist the Desire to Flick Through the Old Volumes Laid Out by a Bookseller

Recently, over espressos at the Shakespeare and Company Café, I caught up with Adam Biles, who has been the Events and Communications Manager at Shakespeare and Company Bookshop since November 2015. Adam, whose debut novel Feeding Time will be out this August in the UK, spoke about everything from rare books to interesting literary marriages […]

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Eleven Extraordinary Hours: An Interview with Pamela Erens

Jim Ruland talks to Pamela Erens about her new novel, Eleven Hours

Posted in From Tin House Books, Interviews

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Claire Tobin, Literati Bookstore

Being a bookseller has taught me to appreciate that these objects we recommend and sell are nothing less than pieces of art. We should always feel like we are in the midst of greatness when we are in a bookstore.

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