“I’m Not a Big Fan of Rules”: Hillary Leftwich on Writing “Aura”

Hillary Leftwich

Aura, the new book from Hillary Leftwich, is a lot of things — a mother’s correspondence with her son, a writer’s origin story, and an at times harrowing account of abuse. It maintains the same formal innovation and structural intricacies that characterized Leftwich’s previous book while also offering a candid look back at its author’s life. Leftwich and I conversed about the process of writing Aura and the act of revisiting the personal histories contained within.

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Ari M. Brostoff’s “Missing Time” and the Discourse We Need

"Missing Time"

I came to Ari M. Brostoff’s essay collection Missing Time in a circuitous manner — but given the subtly all-encompassing manner in which Brostoff writes about various subjects, that seems fitting. I’m a regular listener of the podcast Know Your Enemy, and Brostoff was the guest a few months ago for an episode that included discussion of some conservative thinkers who’d come of age on the Left — and in which Brostoff showcased their knowledge of Vivian Gornick’s work. I was impressed with Brostoff’s breadth of knowledge and ordered Missing Time later that night.

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Paul Tremblay’s “The Pallbearers Club” Unlocks the Horror of Metafiction

The Pallbearers Club

Here’s a story about reading Paul Tremblay. Some years ago, I was set to fly home from Edinburgh when my flight was canceled and rescheduled for the next day. By the time lodging had been sorted out, I probably could have ventured back into Edinburgh for one last dinner, one last pin of beer. But at that point, I was fully immersed in Tremblay’s novel The Cabin at the End of the World, and there was no separating me from my hotel room. Tremblay’s very good at that — that slow build of quotidian details that seems innocuous until it turns out to have you wholly entangled.

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Folklore Heads West: Inside the Making of “The Golem of Venice Beach”

Golem of Venice Beach

What happens when a centuries-old golem finds himself in contemporary southern California, in a world of skateboarders, tattoo artists, and rival factions with conflicting agendas? That’s the story at the heart of a new book, The Golem of Venice Beach. The forthcoming graphic novel, from writer Chanan Beizer and artist Vanessa Cardinali, features contributions from a host of comics legends. There’s currently a Kickstarter campaign up and running to fund the project. I spoke with Beizer and Cardinali about the graphic novel’s origins and the expansive approach the book takes to a host of artistic styles.

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Matt Bors and Ben Clarkson on The Making of “Justice Warriors”

Justice Warriors alternate cover

Science fiction as political critique has a long history in comic books. The latest evidence of that comes from collaborators Matt Bors and Ben Clarkson, whose new series Justice Warriors debuts from Ahoy Comics this month. I spoke with Bors and Clarkson about the development of the series, the history of police in comics, and whether or not their satirical series is predicting the shape of things to come.

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“What if Enya Were in Minor Threat?”: An Interview With Sky Creature

Sky Creature

Trying to classify the music made by Sky Creature isn’t easy. At times, you can hear the presence of thunderous punk rock in their DNA; at others, a much more ethereal sound comes to the foreground. The duo of Majel Connery and Matt Walsh have a new double EP, Childworld/Bear Mountain, out now, with a nationwide tour to follow. Each side of the EP shows a different element of the band’s style, and it makes for a haunting and immersive experience. I spoke with the duo about how the two records came about.

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Turning Earth Sounds Into Ethereal Music: Inside the Making of Field Works’ “Stations”

Recording the Earth

The last time we spoke with Stuart Hyatt about his Field Works project, he had recently released an album of immersive music with the sounds of bats at its center. The new Field Works album, Stations, goes to a very different place than that in a very literal sense. For this album, Hyatt drew upon the work of EarthScope, recording the sounds of the planet itself and then bringing in a host of collaborators, including Laaraji and Qasim Naqvi, to transform those sounds into a haunting, gorgeous soundscape. Reached via email, Hyatt discussed how everything came together.

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Modern Dreams and Futuristic Visions: An Interview With Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus’s bibliography covers a lot of ground, rethinking familiar genres and transposing certain storylines into radically different contexts. For his latest book, Sweep of Stars, Broaddus has written the first volume of Astra Black, an Afrofuturist trilogy that abounds with space exploration, political intrigue, and transformative technology. It’s a thoroughly immersive, deeply compelling work of fiction, and I spoke with Broaddus to learn more about its origins and how it relates to the rest of his work.

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