Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 89: Thomas Kendall)

Thomas Kendall

THOMAS KENDALL is the author of The Autodidacts (Whiskey Tit Press, 2022), which Dennis Cooper called “a brilliant novel—inviting like a secret passage, infallible in its somehow orderly but whirligig construction, spine-tingling to unpack, and as haunted as any fiction in recent memory.” His work has appeared in the anthologies Abyss (Orchards Lantern) and Userlands (Akashic Books), and online at Entropy.

My current favorite thing to read is: Harrow by Joy Williams. She somehow manages to mix the mordant with the spiritual with the laugh out loud. The books I’ve gone back to most this year have been The Employees by Olga Ravn and I Wished by Dennis Cooper. I think what they all have in common is a preoccupation with form as a mode for sincerity.

My current favorite thing to watch is: this might be a little too sentimental but it’s true, my son playing. He is just at the age where he’s really beginning to construct narratives and experiment with the relations between things.

My current favorite thing to listen to is: …I’ve never been into podcasts, sometimes hearing someone speak is like seeing their handwriting, but I’ve recently become fairly addicted to Wake Island. It’s a literary podcast run by Paul K and David Leo Rice and they have the best guests and the conversations they conduct tend to have a really interesting blend of the convivial and the analytic. The interviews with Derek McCormack and Lindsay Lerman have been among my favorites.     

My current state of mind is: weirdly stressed. The school I teach in has broken up for the summer but we have to move house again.  

My current chemical romance involves: whatever internal brain chemistry produces a sense of paralyzing anxiety. I’m utterly hooked.  

My current words of wisdom are: …if you can stay still even within boredom and confusion you’re going to find something interesting. 

My current mode of transportation is: …I walk or get the bus. We moved back to London from Peru last year having been away for five years and I really missed being able to walk around. 

My current favorite fast food item is: [a] margherita pizza. Just cheese.

My current workout routine consists of: …I walk an hour to and from work every day but I should do some cardio. I’m trying to do Transcendental Meditation when I can. I don’t really believe in the underlying reasons given for its effect, but for me it really helps my capacity to choose how to feel in day to day life. I need to get healthier… I have to overcome my knee jerk reaction of always being slightly disappointed in someone if they mention they’ve been to the gym.

My current regrettable decision involves: all of my answers to these questions?

My current hopes and dreams are: to find a way to involve myself practically in the political and environmental causes that feel so urgent right now and to overcome my own predilection towards a kind of climate doom. The problem is that I’m not a natural activist, I just can’t be with people that much. 


My current projects include: redrafting for the last time (I think) before sending out my second novel, How I Killed the Universal Man, and tentatively experimenting with ideas for a third.  


Thomas Kendall‘s new novel is available at

Brian Alan Ellis runs House of Vlad Press, and is the author of several books, including Sad Laughter (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018) and Hobbies You Enjoy (serialized daily on Instagram: @hobbiesyouenjoy). His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Fanzine, Monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, X-R-A-Y, Heavy Feather Review, and Yes Poetry, among other places. He lives in Florida.

Follow Vol. 1 Brooklyn on TwitterFacebook, and sign up for our mailing list.