“We Both Have a Stake in the Way That Stories Are Told”: Janice Lee and Mairead Case on Writing

"Imagine a Death" and "Tiny" covers

No two books are written the same way, even if they share an author. For some writers, the process of writing one book can sharply influence the writing of the next; for others, the circumstances under which one work is created can be radically different from that work’s predecessor. The last year and a half has seen the release of new books by Janice Lee (Imagine a Death) and Mairead Case (Tiny). In the wake of both books’ release, Lee and Case discussed their own processes, the role of imagery in their books, and the power of names in fiction — among a host of other topics.

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From Abomination to Acceptance: Chosen Family Redefined

"The Family Way"

Christopher DiRaddo’s The Family Way is a gateway drug into the quirk and fabulousness of all things gay. What to wear to “Souper des Femmes,” where they drink their dinner in drag? Prefer “a fuzzy treasure trail” or “a man hairy as a shark?” “What’s a whale breach?” Can they romance their friend’s new lover? Don’t ask, don’t tell no longer evokes the era of discrimination against gays in the U.S. military but describes how to cope with encounters on- and offline. Is it better not to know? Are you among the commitment phobic? What about NSAs (not the National Security Agency) after your relationship reaches the two -year mark? We learn what it’s like to be on the inside of these conundrums and ultimately from a chosen family that never questions acceptance after centuries of discrimination in every aspect of their lives. 

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The Literature of Public Transit: On Lauren Elkin’s “No. 91/92”

Lauren Elkin book cover

Is there a canon of literature inspired by city buses? This was a question that first came to my mind when reading Lauren Elkin’s recent No. 91/92: A Diary of the Year on the Bus, a chronicle of Elkin’s daily travels across Paris over the course of a turbulent year. The only other work that came to mind was Magnus Mills’s The Maintenance of Headway — a work that blended Mills’s trademark deadpan with reflections gleaned from his time working as a bus driver.

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True Crime, Weird Crime, and Fake Crime: An Interview With David James Keaton

David James Keaton

She Was Found in a Guitar Case, the new novel by David James Keaton, opens in a way that might seem familiar to fans of crime fiction. The novel’s protagonist learns of his wife’s death, and sets out to learn the truth about it, along with several mysterious connections she may have had. Things escalate quickly from there, with the narrative doubling back on itself and taking on a tone that’s both agreeably shaggy and increasingly paranoid. (If there’s a sweet spot between Pynchon and Portis, this book finds it.) I talked with Keaton about the novel’s genesis, how locks on bridges informed the book, and this book’s long path to publication.

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Sex Drive: An Excerpt from Jennifer Fliss’s “The Predatory Animal Ball”

The Predatory Animal Ball

We’re pleased to publish an excerpt from Jennifer Fliss’s new collection The Predatory Animal Ball. Ramona Ausabel called it “a raucous, wondrous event of a book,” and Tyrese Coleman noted that its stories “use style and format to showcase all the ways in which an animal tale is always about our inner human instincts.” Read on for a foray into Fliss’s fiction.

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