A Word About Writing


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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An Interview with Susan Orlean, by Tom Hardej

Susan Orlean certainly has had an eclectic career. (How many of us can say that Meryl Streep has played us in a movie?) She always follows her interests and writes passionate, thoughtful pieces, whether it’s for the New Yorker, one of her books—her most recent, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, was a New York Times bestseller and has just come out in paperback—or her massive Twitter following. We caught up with her to talk about her process as a writer.

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An Interview with Norman Lock, by Celia Johnson

Mr. Hyde sits in an asylum conversing with an ambitious superintendent. An Egyptian Mummy listens to Noël Coward hammer out a tune on the piano. Norman Lock rows along a dark lake below the Paris Opera, eager to disappear, like Gaston Leroux’s Phantom. These are just a few of the scenes you’ll witness in Love Among the Particles, by Norman Lock (yes, he is both the author and, sometimes, a character in the book). Lock creates stories that, at first glance, seem impossible, and yet by the end of each one, feel utterly familiar. I had the honor of discussing this new book with Lock. During our interview, he observed, “Try as I have, I cannot seem to write other than I do: fables of identity, parables of self-consciousness, and tales of the marvelous.” That magnetic pull transcends the pages of his book, making for a fully addictive collection. Read on to find out more about Lock’s creative process, his characters’ fates, and his view of time.

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An Interview with Myla Goldberg, by Maria Gagliano

Myla Goldberg has a way about her. Not everyone can inspire a famous rock star they don’t even know to write a song about them. Not everyone can transport themselves back to the mind of an eleven-year-old. And most of us certainly can’t sit our butts down for six to eight hours straight, distractions be damned, and just write. That certain something is evident in her novels—from Bee Season, which inspired the Decemberists’ Song for Myla Goldberg, to her latest novel, The False Friend, in which she vividly relives life among adolescent girls.

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