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Grodstein is the author of four previous books, including the New York Times bestseller A Friend of the Family and the Washington Post Book of the Year The Explanation for Everything. She was kind enough to answer some of my questions regarding OUR SHORT HISTORY, out now from Algonquin Books.
Gregory Lee Sullivan
I’m fascinated by the idea of nonlinear time — that linear time is a construct we use to make sense of the world. Now, maybe without linear time we’d all be mad. But I find great comfort in accepting the idea, intellectually, that linear time isn’t necessarily real.
BESTIARY was released in October of 2016 by Graywolf Press and has garnered a great deal of praise, including being longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry. Kelly was kind enough to answer a few of my questions via email regarding the notion of self in poetry, how trauma and grief can manifest in art, and how her critical work informs (or fails to inform) her poetry.
"You look like you're trying to write the Great American Novel, which makes me want to barf": An Interview with Kevin Wilson
The stories in Virgin blew me away with their strange sexy intelligence and overall aliveness.
an interview with Chris Bachelder, by Aaron Burch
I think ten t-shirts would be too many to write about, but I’m perversely hoping that twenty-two is somehow not too many. A writer can, I think, pass beyond “too many” or “too much” to a sense of rightness or aptness. The paradox: More than too much is sometimes not too much.
Within its pages, the reader is invited to discover those wondrous things that only great short fiction can offer: an abbreviated window into disparate lives, intense and intricate moments of distress and disclosure, completely self-contained and executed in twenty-five pages or less (Deagler on Gustine's Collection).
But the true malevolence of Majka’s world—the thing that traps her characters in a state of lifelong discontent—most often manifests in mundane hauntings: regret and remorse, vanished love and vanished youth, feelings of dislocation and the inability to belong
Christopher Boucher’s new novel, Golden Delicious (Melville House), is a kind of referendum on all we presently hold dear in fiction. Its emotional hold on the reader is very strong, but its avant-garde methods critique those special effects by explaining what they’re doing to your feelings while they do it, which somehow only makes the book more sad.
Zachary Tyler Vickers & Pat Siebel
Likely I’ll fail to properly introduce Zachary Tyler Vickers’... more
I’m pretty sure very few people fantasize about being burned at the stake, but I do think there’s something fantasy-like in a witch burning – putting a ‘dangerous’ woman in a submissive pose, publicly humiliating her, watching her scream and writhe as her clothes and then flesh burn away.
You interviewing me for Hobart is pretty much the peak of my hustle. Maybe this is me selling out. Maybe this is growing up.
Bryan Hurt & Miles Klee
I first came to know Miles Klee when I published him in my anthology,... more
Misery Needs Jokes: A Conversation with Jon-Michael Frank, author of How’s Everything Going? Not Good
The third episode of Louis C.K.’s new... more
Eventually, I turned to memoir because I wanted to stay in scene. I craved space. I believe in the connection between poetry and memoir. It’s no coincidence that some of our best memoirs have come from poets: Mary Karr, Nick Flynn, Lucy Grealy, Mark Doty, Maggie Nelson, and Sarah Manguso—that list could go on-and-on.
According to my parents, I was obedient from birth—I emerged in silence and then slept through the night. I was just never interested in rebelling—even as a “punk,” I got good grades and was always home by curfew.
A novel about the complexities of being a woman, an artist, a mother, and a wife; a novel about persona and obsession and loyalty and repression; an exorcism.
A fictional follow-up to the novella Women (SF/LD, 2014) exploring the ethos of the literary world, queerness, and infatuation.