Interviews

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?

“The Joy of Adaptation”: Conversations with Colm Tóibín and Nick Hornby

H. Stecopoulos

Emory Cohen as "Tony" and Saoirse Ronan as "Eilis" in BROOKLYN. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Spoiler alert! This piece will reveal important aspects of both the novel and the film Brooklyn.

Interview with Ottessa Moshfegh

James Yu

Ottessa Moshfegh's allergy toward self-promotion makes her rise all the more impressive. The recipient of the Stegner Fellowship, a National Endowment of the Arts grant, and the Fence Modern Prize in Prose, she has in the last few years become something of a house writer for The Paris Review.

Before she deleted her Twitter account, her avatar was not a professionally burnished headshot of the kind gracing the dust jackets of debut novelists but a medical illustration of three pairs of eyes, each depicting a condition known informally as lazy eye. It is a nonstandard choice for an avatar and seems to capture the forthrightness of Moshfegh's work, in which characters use colostomy bags and have genitals swollen due to pituitary situations, who think mean thoughts and make morally ambiguous decisions.

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