An Interview with Monica McClure
I first met Monica McClure back in 2013 in Greenwich Village when I was an MFA candidate at The New School. We were introduced by a mutual friend, and we spent the evening sipping red wine, discussing poetry, and contemplating the value of an MFA. Her chapbook Mood Swing had just published and I drunkenly raced home to read it. Spoilers, my mind was blown.
In the years that have followed, Monica has become a dear friend and her book Tender Data, published in 2015, has lines that still haunt me till this day: “I want to be so skinny people ask if I’m dying.”
Authors In Conversation
TWENTY YEARS, THREE BOOKS: Reintroducing the Short Stories & Novellas of Andre Dubus
On a cold February afternoon in 1998, I visited an independent bookshop in Wells, Maine. In the shop’s ever-reliable “Staff Picks” section, I noticed a paperback by Andre Dubus. I had never heard of Dubus—and it would be years of mispronunciation before I learned that his last name rhymes with “abuse,” like “duh-byooz”—but that day Dancing After Hoursleapt out at me.
Back then—and even today, for that matter—any Vintage Contemporaries paperback with a spare mid-1980s/early-1990s cover design and bold stripe of color on the spine gave me pause. I had been making my way slowly through the entire list of the so-called “Dirty Realists” of the day—Ann Beattie, Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Richard Russo, Joy Williams, and Tobias Wolff—and they all seemed to be on Vintage Contemporaries, many of them edited by Gary Fisketjon, now an editor and vice president at Knopf.
LitCrawl Brooklyn: A Multilingual Most Exquisite Corpse
At PEN America’s Lit Crawl Brooklyn 2018, Words Without Borders and SLICE Literary partnered to present a multilingual exquisite corpse, a story authored by four international writers—Glaydah Namukasa, Ibtisam Azem, Amir Ahmadi Arian, and Silvana Paternostro—and translated by Dr. Merit Kabugo, Sinan Antoon, Amir Ahmadi Arian, and Mary Ann Newman.
In the exquisite corpse tradition, one writer penned the first segment of the story (in this case, Ugandan writer Glaydah Namukasa, who was given a prompt line from Clarice Lispector’s The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey: “I’d transformed myself little by little into the person who bears my name”).