Podcast Episode 03: Alexandra Chang, author of Days of Distraction

Podcast Episode 03: Alexandra Chang, author of Days of Distraction

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Alexandra Chang grew up in Northern California where she eventually became a technology journalist, including writing for Wired. She’s since moved across the country, obtained an MFA from Syracuse, and wrote her debut novel Days of Distraction. The book follows a narrator who has a similar life to Chang, but the book is far from autofiction.

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Lee Matalone on making ‘Home Making’ by happenstance

Lee Matalone on making ‘Home Making’ by happenstance

In Home Making, Lee Matalone explores how people face anxieties as they attempt to put together their lives and figure out their places in the world. The debut novel is filled with multiple generations of women who are finding their footing at different stages of life.

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Peter Kispert knows what makes a good story

Peter Kispert knows what makes a good story

Peter Kispert is a beloved editor who has worked with some of best writers publishing today. He is also is an accomplished writer himself, with work appearing or forthcoming in OUT, GQ, and Eqsuire. His writing, both fiction and non-fiction, explores identity, queerness, and culture.

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A Life of Books with Emma Sloley, author of ‘Disaster’s Children’

A Life of Books with Emma Sloley, author of ‘Disaster’s Children’

Emma Sloley‘s short fiction has been published in various journals like Catapult and collected in an anthology edited by Rebecca Makkai. She also is a seasoned travel writer where she has traveled the world writing essays for outlets like Coastal Living and Travel + Leisure.

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On death and imaginary friends: Amanda Goldblatt reveals how she created ‘Hard Mouth’

On death and imaginary friends: Amanda Goldblatt reveals how she created ‘Hard Mouth’

In Hard Mouth, the dizzying debut from Amanda Goldblatt, the main character Denny retreats from her every day life into the woods to escape the news that her father’s battle with cancer is finally coming to an end. Once she arrives, Goldblatt offers a Phoebe Waller-Bridge twist on Thoreau. Denny deals with death by diving into her own head to be accompanied by an imaginary friend.

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A Life of Books with Nicholas Mancusi, author of ‘A Philosophy of Ruin’

A Life of Books with Nicholas Mancusi, author of ‘A Philosophy of Ruin’

In A Philosophy of Ruin, the debut novel by Nicholas Mancusi, a philosophy professor questions his choices, what life is about, and reevaluates his own outlook on philosophy. The professor, named Oscar, is experiencing one of the roughest patches in his life. To add to everything, he is seduced by a student who gets him caught up in a drug ring that begins to upend everything he has worked for.

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Getting personal and historical with ‘The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna’ author Juliet Grames

Getting personal and historical with ‘The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna’ author Juliet Grames

Juliet Grames has been thinking about Stella Fortuna for nearly her entire life. Well, sort of. The titular character of The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna bears parallel characteristics to her grandmother’s own life. Both emigrated from Southern Italy to America. Both had an accident that reshaped their personality and life.

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Chris Rush’s art: then and now

Chris Rush’s art: then and now

Artist Chris Rush has had a lifetime of stories that teeter on fantasy. His recent memoir, The Light Years, covers the first two decades of his life from a young church-going boy to a drug mule for a hippie prophet. You can read more about that memoir and my conversation with him over at the Millions (eventually), but I wanted to give you a taste of the artist behind the memoir.

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Inside Julie Langsdorf’s long journey to publishing ‘White Elephant’

Inside Julie Langsdorf’s long journey to publishing ‘White Elephant’

Julie Langsdorf’s social satire White Elephant might be about a straight-and-arrow, quaint neighborhood, but the road she took to publishing it sprawled across decades and iterations. In the dark comedy, a quiet Washington, D.C. suburb is disrupted when a mammoth white house – the titular white elephant – begins construction. The new home pushes the suburbanites out of their boring slumber and into action.

The story follows an intricate cast of characters who were first conceived in the mid-aughts and had to be updated for the modern world. Though this seems like it fits perfectly well in the Trumpian world, Langsdorf will quickly admit that she didn’t need to change much of the political lens from when she first conceived it to its publication.

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Etaf Rum’s ‘A Woman is No Man’ opens readers to a reality rarely seen on page

Etaf Rum’s ‘A Woman is No Man’ opens readers to a reality rarely seen on page

The family saga in Etaf Rum‘s A Woman is No Man isn’t meant to encapsulate the entire Arab-American experience. Instead, she carefully sheds light on a reality many married Muslim women face. It is a very specific story, but one that happens more often than the rest of society realizes.

In breaking her silence, Rum faced isolation from her community who was afraid of the secrets she was revealing to the world. Still, the story of violence and abuse was one she had to share to give a voice to herself as well as other women who faced similar situations.

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