A Word About Writing


An Interview with Joshua Henkin, by Sean Jones

Joshua Henkin is the director of Brooklyn College’s MFA program and the author of three novels, including the just-released The World Without You, a meditation on family and grieving set in a Berkshires hideaway. Henkin’s strength as a writer lies in intricately and empathetically developing his characters, even when they are treating themselves and others badly. In The World Without You, Henkin had his work cut out for him; unlike his previous book, Matrimony, which focused mostly on a single couple, The World WithoutYou features an ensemble cast of sisters, husbands, widows, and other relations, all of whom are deeply affected by an echoing tragedy and an eventful weekend.

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An Interview with Abraham Verghese, by Celia Johnson

For Abraham Verghese, it is not a question of being a doctor or a writer. He is always both. Writing is a lens to view medicine and the world, and that lens is intricate, hopeful, and compassionate. Verghese has written two memoirs and one novel, all New York Times bestsellers. In each of his books, Verghese explores sickness and healing, focusing on the human aspects of the medical field.

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An Interview with Fred Arroyo, by Robert Kralovec

Fred Arroyo is an immense talent. In works such as Western Avenue and Other Fictions and the novel The Region of Lost Names, Arroyo muses upon the effects of time and memory. Posing questions about the gritty subculture of immigrants and migrants in the United States, he writes lyrical prose that creates an intimacy with the reader. We spoke with Arroyo about how this issue’s theme of Obsession finds its way into his life and work.

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An Interview with Ramona Ausubel, by Julienne Grey

Ramona Ausubel, acclaimed author of No One is Here Except All of Us, returns with her stunning short story collection, A Guide to Being Born.  From the man growing drawers from his chest to the teenager convinced that she’s pregnant with a zoo, Ausubel’s characters make for stories that are powerful, poignant, and surreal—and I got the chance to ask her about them.  In our interview, Ausubel elaborates on the power of letter writing, reveals her wildest culinary adventures, and offers some whale-sized advice for emerging writers.

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An Interview with Geraldine Brooks, by Elizabeth Blachman

The first time I read Geraldine Brooks’s novel March, I was at a bus station in Richmond. The bus had been canceled, and I was stuck sitting on the marble floor of the station with my backpack tucked under my legs from ten p.m. until the next bus came along at six the following morning. As the mother and four kids in line behind me settled to sleep, I turned the pages through the night with the sensation that I was falling into some strange tapestry of Civil War history and Little Women, a novel that I had read seven times as a child.

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An Interview with Julie Sarkissian, by Celia Johnson

There are a lot of things readers hope to find in a debut novel, but perhaps most of all they look for something refreshingly new. Lucy Sarkissian offers just that with her debut, Dear Lucy. In this book, you’ll meet a cast of characters unlike any other, from a heroic young woman who is unfailingly hopeful to her fiesty pet, a baby chick. And the story is consistently surprising and entertaining. Sarkissian is a master storyteller. I chatted with her about how her characters emerged, why her couch is the worst (and also the best) place to write, and more.

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Issue #23 AVAILABLE

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