The Blog

THE IOWA REVIEW launches new imprint in fiction

TIR Staff

The Iowa Review announced today that it will expand its literary offerings with a new book imprint showcasing the best in contemporary fiction. In collaboration with the University of Iowa Press, The Iowa Review Series in Fiction will publish two innovative novels per year beginning in 2018.

“The goal of the new Iowa Review imprint is simple: to publish high-quality literary fiction that exceeds our readers’ expectations and leaves them eager for more,” says TIR editor Harilaos Stecopoulos. “We’re interested in a wide range of styles and genres; we’ll consider any novel that promises to instruct and delight, preferably with a twist or two.”

The Series’ advisory board includes Lan Samantha Chang, John Freeman, Amelia Gray, Garth Greenwell, Porochista Khakpour, Rebecca Makkai, Christopher Merrill, and Jayne Anne Phillips.

Interview with Katherine Schifani, author of "Pistol Whip"

In March 2015, TIR intern Erin Marshall interviewed Kate Schifani, whose essay "Pistol Whip" won our 2014 Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans.

EM: Could you discuss why you decided to write about your military experiences?

KS: I’ve always been writing ever since I was a little kid. It started when I was still there [in Iraq], and it was kind of a way to send things out to my friends and family to let them know I was still alive. I would just summarize what was going on. Halfway through my deployment, I started getting e-mails from friends of friends. When I got back, I started to think more seriously about what I was trying to do with writing.

Interview with Anthony Swofford

Anthony SwoffordAnthony Swofford is the author of the memoirs Jarhead and Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails and the novel Exit A. In 2014 he served as the judge of TIR’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, naming Katherine Schifani the first-place winner and awarding second place to Brian Van Reet. In April 2015 he visited Iowa City for a screening of the film made from Jarhead and a reading alongside Schifani and Van Reet. TIR managing editor Lynne Nugent caught up with him between events.

Did That Really Happen? An Interview with Veteran Writers

Jesse Goolsby

I was at a literature conference a few years ago when someone asked a well-respected panelist what, in his opinion, made Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried so powerful.

“He was there,” the scholar said. “That pain and honesty, the way it’s translated from memory to page, you can’t fake that. Only a soldier who was present could have written it.”

Even then, sitting in that conference room, I thought the answer was the biggest load of shit I’d ever heard. Of course you can fake that—isn’t brilliant appropriation one of the goals of fiction?

Jonathan Safran Foer's HERE I AM

Eric Farwell

With Jonathan Safran Foer’s gritty new novel, Here I Am, it’s hard not to read it in the context of his recent public divorce. The 571-page work deals with a nearly middle-aged Jewish couple who are drifting apart and going through the motions of separation. The book does its best to account for small moments that keep a marriage together or destroy it, articulating both how invisible they are and how short the distance is between one extreme and the other. Foer should be applauded for his diligent scrutiny of love and modern Jewish masculinity, which moves beyond the bloated narratives that make up much literary fiction to become a soulful meditation on identity and obsession.

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