A Word About Writing


An Interview with Fiona Maazel, by Esme Hoffman

There are a few female authors in Brooklyn who make me feel like I’m a little girl again, looking up at all the big girls around me who are smarter and cooler and do big- girl things, like write books. Fiona Maazel is one of those authors. Her sentences are knockouts, and her novels are both entertaining and wickedly intelligent. She is the author of Woke Up Lonely and Last Last Chance, a winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, and a National Book Foundation “5 under 35” honoree.

When I saw Fiona Maazel read at the Franklin Park Reading Series, it was so crowded that it was hard to move. Her curly brown hair was just visible beyond the heads in the crowd. Fiona’s reading style is crisp, confident, and darkly witty, like her prose. The audience laughed as she gave us a scene where an awkward crush goes awry in the middle of a hostage situation. Although I was too shy to approach her at the reading, I contacted her via Facebook, and she graciously agreed to an interview.

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An Interview with Bill Roorbach, by Celia Johnson

Bill Roorbach has written several award-winning fiction and nonfiction titles. His latest novel, Life Among Giants, does not disappoint, and the critics wholeheartedly agree. “Its wild characters feel genuine, their aches and flaws and desires wholly organic; and the plot they’re tangled in moves forward at a breakneck pace,” observed Haley Tanner, in a rave review for the New York Times. This novel combines unlikely characters (world-famous celebrities with a quirky middleclass family) and unlikely worlds (dance, football, tennis, food, business). They coalesce under the narrative lens of a towering football star named David, who also goes by Lizard. The result is an epic tale filled with intrigue, hope, and heartbreak.

I met Roorbach at a Honda repair shop on the day of his interview with Slice. He was having seats installed in his van, so that he could drive his twelve-year-old daughter and all of her friends to the beach. It quickly became clear to me that if Roorbach isn’t orchestrating an adventure, then he’s discovering one. We drove a short distance to a restaurant called Slate’s, just across the way from the Kennebunk River, in the tiny town of Hallowell, Maine. Inside, the conversation leapt from topic to topic: the delicious food, the music, the publishing industry, the wilderness of Maine. Roorbach has a knack for pinpointing humor and mystery in just about anything, and that expansive interest shines in his prose.

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An Interview with Eric Lundgren, by Peter Swegart

The Facades is Eric Lundgren’s first published novel is a mix of darkness and light, humor and deep-stomach sadness. The story follows Sven Norberg’s search for his wife in the fictional city called Trude. The whole atmosphere of Trude is dirty, menacing and decrepit and many of the characters are villainous in one way or another. Despite all of this, the reader can comfort in the protagonist’s dry humor and undying hope that he will find his wife. The Facades is a beautiful nocturn of a novel, with a plot that makes you want to keep reading and style that makes you want to reread each sentence. I had the pleasure of talking to Eric about anguish, scary operas, and Minnesota. 

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An Interview with Lisa Gornick, by Catie Hannigan

Lisa Gornick’s novel, Tinderbox, explores the entanglement of human lives and the stunning result when lightness and darkness meet. Without a doubt, Tinderbox is corporeal, and a beating product of Gornick’s experiences. As the present is inevitably shaped by history, I asked Gornick how her stories are formed and by what vital influences. In this interview, she shares her writing space and processes, the origin of mysterious Eva, and the natural state where her psychoanalytic training and imaginative curiosity join forces. 

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An Interview with Pablo Medina, by Robert Kralovec

Pablo Medina is the author of fourteen books. He has published works of poetry, fiction,nonfiction, and translation. His most recent books include The Man Who Wrote on Water and Cubop City Blues. With its musicality and haunting, lyrical prose, the latter should be read by every New Yorker and all who seek to wander into the underworld of their own city. We met Pablo in Greenwich Village to discuss his writing and this issue’s theme of The Unknown.

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An Interview with Rick Moody, by Maria Gagliano

If you’re at all familiar with Rick Moody’s writing, you know only one thing is certain: he is predictably unpredictable. His early novels Garden StateThe Ice Storm, and Purple America epitomized suburban gothic literature, revealing the dark side of family life that so many relate to, but don’t have the courage to talk about. Just as readers might have settled in for another novel on suburban family life, his next book switched gears to an entirely different style and focus. These days, while the theme of family is still a mainstay in his work, you can find him waxing erudite about the powers of music in his essay collection On Celestial Music or in his monthly “Swinging Modern Sounds” column for The Rumpus. He even moonlights as a musician in his band, The Wingdale Community Singers. Despite the unpredictable shifts throughout Moody’s body of work, he can always be counted on to challenge readers with unexpected twists in his writing style and form. I caught up with Moody as he was working on his latest novel—a book he’s writing in 500- word bursts. I was lucky enough to hear about his early days working in book publishing, his iTunes “Recently Played” list, and his take on the allure of American suburbia.

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