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This City Could Be Your Poet: Greenville

As Xenophobic as we Portlanders can be, we know our city is not alone when it comes to having a vibrant and eclectic and wild poetry community. In an effort to discover these territories, we have reached out to some of our favorite poets, asking them for introductions to the cities in which they write, […]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 0

Subtle Bodies: An Interview with Norman Rush

If memory serves, it was sometime in the early 90s that I attended a reading at the now-deceased Endicott Bookstore on New York’s Upper West Side, featuring Toby Olsen and some other guy. That other guy turned out to be Norman Rush, and he read from Mating, which quickly became my favorite novel. I found […]

Posted in Interviews

Comments: 3

November 22, 1963: A Conversation with Adam Braver

Tin House Books: What prompts you to begin a work of fiction—an image, a character, a line of dialogue? What prompted November 22, 1963? Adam Braver: Actually, it can be all of the above. A story can start from some characteristic trait, an odd sentence I’ve heard somebody mutter, or sometimes the incongruence of a setting and a […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

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Kind of Kin: An Interview with Rilla Askew

I first got to know Rilla Askew at Woodstock. Well, sort of. We didn’t meet at the famous music festival, but rather almost exactly 36 years later on the very spot at which it took place: a large field in Bethel, New York. Every September, that property is given over to a Harvest Festival, which includes […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

This City Could Be Your Poet: Minneapolis

As Xenophobic as we Portlanders can be, we know our city is not alone when it comes to having a vibrant and eclectic and wild poetry community. In an effort to discover these territories, we have reached out to some of our favorite poets, asking them for an introduction to the city in which they […]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 1

This is Between Us: An Interview with Kevin Sampsell

Arthur Bradford: Hey Kevin, I like your new book (This is Between Us)! It’s a very sincere and raw look at a relationship, and love. Did you have any kind of statement in mind when you set out to write this, like were you trying to show some aspect of love and relationships that might […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 1

Story About the Story: An Interview with Dagoberto Gilb

Next in J.C. Hallman’s series of Q&A’s with Story About the Story contributors is writer Dagoberto Gilb. Dagoberto Gilb is the author of a number of books, including The Magic of Blood, Woodcuts of Women, and The Flowers.  Gilb’s contribution to The Story About the Story I, “The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy,” first appeared in The Nation and was […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

Story About the Story: An Interview with Walter Kirn

Walter Kirn’s books include Up in the Air, Thumbsucker, and, most recently, Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever.  His essay included in The Story About the Story I, “Good-Bye Holden Caulfield.  I mean it.  Go!  Good-bye!” first appeared in With Love and Squalor: 14 Writers Respond to the Work of J.D. Salinger. […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 7

What We Write Will Last Longer Than Our Skins: An Interview with Rachel McKibbens

My mother was a more fantastic and unobtainable creature than any mermaid to me; my father more terrifying than a minotaur.

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 2

Story About the Story: An Interview with Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker is the author of more than a dozen books.  His third book, U and I: A True Story, about John Updike, is a common frame of reference for many who write creative criticism today.  “Defoe, Truthteller,” reprinted in The Story About the Story II, was first published in Columbia Journalism Review, and appears […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 2

An Interview with Lucy Corin

When I first read Lucy Corin’s novel Everyday Psychokillers (FC2 2004) I kept thinking, “Did she really just do that?” Actually, that’s a lie, because the feeling—the thought—was something more subtle, but just as wonder-struck. It had something to do with the fact that the book intersperses chapters about preadolescent girlhood with chapters about ancient […]

Posted in Interviews

Comments: 0

Story About the Story: An Interview with Phyllis Rose

Next in J.C. Hallman’s series of Q&A’s with Story About the Story contributors is writer Phyllis Rose. Rose is the author of Woman of Letters: A Life of Virginia Woolf and Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages.  An excerpt of The Year of Reading Proust: A Memoir in Real Time appears in The Story About the Story I. J.C. Hallman: […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

Story About the Story: An Interview with Edward Hirsch

J.C. Hallman continues his series of Q&A’s with Story About the Story contributors today with Edward Hirsch. In addition to more than half a dozen books of poems, Edward Hirsch is the author of several books of “creative criticism,” including How to Read a Poem, which is excerpted in The Story About the Story I.  Hirsch is president […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 1

An Interview With Peter Orner

Since 2008 whenever I’ve taught bored teenagers and I sense I need to wake them up, or entice them to believe that literature can be exciting, I go straight to a rapturously written excerpt from Peter Orner’s extraordinary novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. (A taste: “Her cheeks sag off her face like grocery […]

Posted in Fiction, Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 2

An interview with Chandrahas Choudhury

Traditionally Indian prose (in English) crossing the Pacific has tended to be oversized, its scale epic, its topics and styles trending intense. The current swell in the country’s publishing and readership—India is now the world’s third largest book market, and growing–raises the prospect of a more level circulation across these two Anglophone fields, a chance to read […]

Posted in Interviews

Comments: 0

Story About the Story: An Interview with Fred Setterberg

Up next in J.C. Hallman’s series of Q&A’s with Story About the Story contributors is writer Fred Setterberg. Fred Setterberg’s contribution to The Story About the Story I, “Into Some Wild Places with Hemingway,” appears in his book, The Roads Taken: Travels Through America’s Literary Landscapes, winner of the 1992 AWP award for Creative Nonfiction.  Setterberg is the author of a number of […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 1

Story About the Story: An Interview with Sven Birkerts

Sven Birkerts is the author of many books of essays, including, most recently, The Other Walk. His contribution to The Story About the Story I, “On a Stanza by John Keats,” first appeared in Birkerts’ The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry. He directs the MFA program at Bennington University. Birkerts has nice things to say about the new volume, and we […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 2

Story About the Story: An Interview with William Gass

William Gass’s contribution to The Story About the Story Vol. I, “In Terms of the Toenail: Fiction and the Figures of Life,” first appeared in New American Review and is the title piece of his 1970 book of criticism, Fiction and the Figures of Life.  Seven volumes of essays would follow to accompany six of fiction, […]

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Comments: 0

Technique Informing Flow: An Interview with Lindsay Hunter

Don’t Kiss Me by Lindsay Hunter is a rare sighting: a heterogeneous story collection that holds together. The book presents a spectrum of peculiar voices that tend to overlap in areas of loss, self-pity, and hilarity. Hunter renders a vernacular, or several vernaculars, that seem to come from your own hometown, a stranger’s childhood, or […]

Posted in Interviews

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Story About the Story: An Interview with Jane Tompkins

Up next in J.C. Hallman’s series of Q&A’s with Story About the Story contributors is writer and professor Jane Tompkins.  Jane Tompkins is the author of a number of books, most recently A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned.  Her contribution to The Story About the Story II, “The Last of the Breed: Homage to Louis L’Amour,” is excerpted from […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

This City Could Be Your Poet: Seattle

One of the fantastic things about calling Portland home is being able to partake in our kinetic and flourishing poetry scene. Not only are there a number of ridiculously well-curated reading series (Bad Blood, Sleep, If Not for Kidnapped, to name drop a few) but our poetry and poets can be found in the fabric […]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 0

Story About the Story: An Interview with Wendy Lesser

J.C. Hallman continues his series of Q&A’s with Story About the Story contributors today with writer and editor Wendy Lesser. Wendy Lesser is the founding editor of The Threepenny Review.  Her essay “The First Novel,” included in The Story About the Story II, appears in Lesser’s Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering.  Her most recent book is Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and his Fifteen […]

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Story About the Story: An Interview with Charles Baxter

In the second volume of The Story About the Story, editor J. C. Hallman continues to argue for an alternative to the staid five-paragraph-essay writing that has inoculated so many against the effects of good books. Writers have long approached writing about reading from an intensely personal perspective, incorporating their pasts and their passions into their […]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 5

The Altering Perspective I Like: An Interview with Michael Ondaatje

It’s September and everyone in Paris is diving into la rentrée littéraire; much more than just a catchy, catch-all phrase, it is a way of life that roughly translates as “a specific time in very late summer when all of France comes back after summer vacation to present, celebrate and otherwise promote newly published books […]

Posted in Aperitif, Interviews

Comments: 0

Tumbledown: An Interview With Robert Boswell

Robert Boswell is a patient man. The facts surrounding this interview support this claim. Our conversation began in Telluride, where he and his wife, the writer Antonya Nelson, have a home. This was a year ago and I should mention that our weekend together began with me flying into the wrong airport some 90 miles […]

Posted in Interviews

Comments: 1