For Ploughshares this past month or so, I interviewed Susan Daitch, Christine Schutt, and Ryan Call for the third, fourth, and fifth installments (respectively) of my “The Books We Teach” series. All three had such brilliant insights! I implore you to read what they have to say about teaching and writing and teaching writing!
• 17 July 2013
Sean and Greg,
In retrospect, I’m not surprised that “For Immediate Release” occurs over the course of a Mother’s Day week. The episode’s plot movements are male-driven, sure, but its underpinnings are—without question—female. Mother’s Day! A celebration of women who nurture others, who foster…
Continued Mad Men coverage—Mother’s Day edition!
• 12 May 2013
1. I wrote a bit about Brattleboro Books and its place in a changing industry for my Ploughshares series “Bookmarks.” I was completely charmed by the owner! You can read the profile here.
2. Again at Ploughshares, I had the privilege of chatting with the wise, talented, and hilarious Roxane Gay for my fledgling "The Books We Teach" series. You can read the interview here.
3. Cool Medium returns! We—like all of you—are now writing about Mad Men (Nashville having run its insufferable course). Last week, I wrote about well-intentioned missteps, Don Moments vs. Race Moments, perfunctory rich people events, and Lindsay Weir in curlers. Here’s my blathering. Sean just pulled apart “For Immediate Release” and Greg considered “The Flood” last week. They’re writing smart things, like always!
This last episode felt like a pesky hangnail. I’ll explain why in tomorrow’s post.
• 8 May 2013
1. I came across this incredible Craigslist job description and I want to share it with you: "You will be constantly standing, walking, riding, carrying, twisting, bending, seeing, hearing, and handling paperwork. You will always be lifting objects weighing from less than 20 lbs to 60 lbs. You could frequently be stooping, balancing, and hearing. And occasionally you will be pushing, sitting, touching, reaching, climbing, pulling, and gripping items ranging from under 20 lbs to over 60 lbs."
2. I interviewed the amazing Reese Okyong Kwon for Ploughshares. We discuss her Winter issue story “Victoria Falls Hotel,” religious terrorism, Asian American identity, Norman Rush, love letters to a God in whom she doesn’t believe, Cortazar’s Hopscotch, and other delights. You can read the interview here.
• 3 April 2013
I interviewed the kind, generous, and ever-brilliant Matt Bell for my new Ploughshares series “The Books We Teach.” Topics discussed: Gary Lutz’s “A Sentence is a Lonely Place,” innovative college curricula, Brian Evenson’s “Windeye” and Evenson’s “Two Brothers” as complimentary teaching texts, the writer’s obligation, Matt’s new book, and more. Please read the interview here!
• 4 March 2013
I just started a not-at-all-comprehensive reading list in an attempt to remember pieces that I liked reading. Follow along, should you wish!
• 6 January 2013
Over the holiday a friend texted me: “Sometime do you want to make a fire and ceremonially burn our journals?” She had, of course, perused her adolescent diaries between bites of Thanksgiving stuffing. I had done the same. I guess this ritual is an inevitable supplement to a holiday visitation; parents’ homes, in and of themselves, are odd because they house memories that easily resurface via refrigerator pictures, senior portraits, band posters, embarrassing stories, et cetera. So it’s only natural that we read our old journals when we’ve returned home: they allow us to revisit the past at its most explicit. It’s sort of a grotesque act, actually.
Will I burn my old diaries? I don’t know—maybe? But a thing I have realized is this: when I was younger, I was afraid that someone (a boy) might read my diaries and then divulge all of my secrets. Now, I’m afraid that I might reread my diaries and then realize that I was boring when I was young or, worse, that I was boring when I was young and haven’t changed at all. It’s a lose-lose, really, because 1) all diaries are boring and 2) we see so much of our current selves in our written pasts. It’s the worst.
• 26 November 2012
Notes on a speculative fiction and other amusements
Like television? So do we! Take a peek at our weekly collaborative analyses of ABC’s Nashville. Corporeal highlights: Powers Boothe’s tongue, Hayden Panettiere’s forehead, Connie Britton’s mane
• 7 November 2012
We must remember that when something claims that it is three dimensional, it does not necessarily claim that it is holographic. Having forgotten this detail, I swayed back and forth a little, as one does. My mistake.
• 12 October 2012