Asha Lemmie‘s historical fiction Fifty Words For Rain is an expansive exploration into a woman’s coming of age in post-World War II Japan. She takes readers into a world and lets them play there while mistakes are made, secrets are revealed, and desires are tempted. The book itself is like a sibling to Lemmie. She started it in high school and grew up with it. There was no MFA or workshops. Just a decade of perseverance chasing a teenage dream.Continue reading “Asha Lemmie finds links to the present by exploring the past in Fifty Words For Rain”
Jenny Bhatt is a writer, translator, and host of the Desi Books podcast. She is outspoken on Twitter about the need for diversity in publishing and is an advocate for all writers and not just ones who share her background.
Her debut story collection, Each of Us Killers, is about Indians in the workforce. The typical tropes readers, editors, and agents might expect from a South Asian writer are nowhere to be found. The book is the culmination of years of desire and hard work. She spent years in corporate America while writing on the side before moving back to India to pursue her debut seriously.
I spoke with Jenny Bhatt about her writing history, how her book finally came together, and how publishing has changed since she queried the book back in 2017.Continue reading “Jenny Bhatt wants to read stories from every culture”
Greg Mania is a writer, comedian, and award-winning screenwriter. He has been published all over the internet and in print at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, O, The Oprah Magazine, PAPER, HuffPost, Out, BOMB, Electric Literature, and so much more. He is also the recipient of the Grand Prize of the Fourth Annual Stage 32 Comedy Writing Contest.Continue reading “Greg Mania is all about laughs, yellow, and being public”
Every year, PEN America releases an anthology of the best short stories written by first time published writers. This year, a dozen writers were selected from a wide-ranging array of literary journals – both in print and online. They were judged and selected by Tracy O’Neill, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Deb Olin Unferth.
I asked seven of the collected writers get-to-know-you questions to better introduce them to readers.Continue reading “Meet seven writers collected in the Pen America Best Debut Short Stories 2020 anthology”
Rumors, assault, trauma, and misogyny are swirling around the pages fo True Story by Kate Reed Petty. In 2015, Alice is a reclusive writer haunted by her own story. Over 15 years prior, in the confines of an elite high school, a rumor is started and no one is quite sure what to make of it.Continue reading “Kate Reed Petty is out to find the truth in True Story”
Melissa Faliveno is a writer, editor, and teacher. She’s been a musician, roller derby skater, and alt-weekly reporter. She’s a writer’s writer. Whether it was covering the local alternative scene in her native Wisconsin or cohosting Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast, Faliveno has touched nearly every aspect of the literary world.Continue reading “In Tomboyland, Melissa Faliveno traverses everything from working-class communities to queerness”
Lucie Britsch‘s Sad Janet follows the titular character as she works in a run down dog shelter. She’s an anxious cynic who has a passive-aggressive boyfriend and a nosy family. Her life changes when she discovers a pill that provides instant happiness. In all, Sad Janet is a hilarious look into depression. Fans of Miranda July and Melissa Broder will find comfort in Britsch’s writing and viewpoint.Continue reading “A Life of Books with Lucie Britsch, author of Sad Janet”
Like most writers and actors trying to make it in Hollywood, Byron Lane was a celebrity’s personal assistant. Not just any celebrity, though. He was the assistant to Princess Leia herself, the late, great Carrie Fisher.Continue reading “Byron Lane’s A Star is Bored is a hilarious ode to Carrie Fisher”
Diane Zinna‘s The All-Night Sun is a luminous story about love, grief, desire, and truth. Set at a small college in Washington, D.C. and during midsummer in Sweden, the novel follows a professor entangled with an enigmatic student and her brooding brother. As the teacher lets her inhibitions go, she must also grapple with tragedy that has engulfed her in the past.Continue reading “Diane Zinna on the ins and outs of publishing The All-Night Sun”
Leah Hampton’s short story collection F*fuckface has the best book title of the years. Hands down. While you can’t judge a book by its cover – or title – you can judge it by its content. And holy cow, F*ckface goes there.Continue reading “For Leah Hampton, F*ckface is all about location, location, location (and a lot of weird characters)”