Revenge of the “Revenge of the Translator” Translator: An Interview With Emma Ramadan

As a typical monolingual American, I am in awe of book translators. Their task is so monumental—to bring meaning from one entire linguistic context to another—and they accomplish it with so little fanfare or attention. When the book is unusually strange or challenging, presumably the work of translating it is equally so. And when the book plays on the profession and actions of a translator, is it even possible to make the leap from one native tongue to another?

Continue Reading

“I Let the Characters Develop Fully Before I Went Looking for Themes”: Raymond Strom on Writing “Northern Lights”

So much literary fiction feels like an attempt to pull us into a world and convince us of certain truths. Raymond Strom’s debut novel Northern Lights is that rare book that simply unfolds, letting the beauty of the language, the tension of the story and the completely realized skin and bones of every character come to life on the page. As a piece of writing deep into a career, it would be a triumph. The fact that this is Strom’s first novel makes it something of a revelation.

Continue Reading

Injustice, Clarity, and Storytelling: An Interview With Scott Adlerberg

The slim, propulsive novels of Scott Adlerberg pack a hell of a punch. He’s equally at home writing characters displaced from the familiar and characters whose daily routine can turn suffocating. His latest novel, 2018’s Jack Waters, follows the story of a gambler who becomes involved in a revolution in the early-20th century Caribbean. What begins as an adventure story with an antihero at its heart slowly changes into something deeper and more unpredictable, yet no less thrilling for it. I spoke with Adlerberg about his use of setting, his literary lineage, and his penchant for splicing genres together.

Continue Reading

“I Am Not a Nostalgic Person”: An Interview With Brian Alan Ellis

Brian Alan Ellis is both a prolific writer and champion of other prolific writers, releasing knock-out books by the likes of Noah Cicero, Sam Pink, Bud Smith (through House of Vlad Productions) between publishing his own steady stream of wry, scuzzy poetry and flash fiction.

His most recent book, Sad Laughter, is a cavalcade of witty one-liners, shitposts, and disarmingly funny micro-commentaries on the current state of indie publishing. Between bad band name puns and evocative new manifestations of a writer’s quiet desperation, Ellis breaks down the everyday absurdities behind trends like #AmWriting with the grace and power of Rob Van Dam’s Five Star Frog Splash. But, in line with the master-your-craft ethos behind professional wrestling, Ellis’s piledrives are safely choreographed and, dare I say, delivered with love.

Continue Reading

Six Ridiculous Questions With David S. Atkinson

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

Continue Reading

“Like A Shanking”: Gabino Iglesias on Writing “Coyote Songs”

Coyote Songs, the latest novel from Gabino Iglesias, covers a bold stylistic range, from tautly realistic characters living desperate lives to head-spinning forays into body horror. To call it “unsettling” would miss the mark somewhat: this is fiction that isn’t intended to leave a reader settled. It’s also a significant stylistic departure from his previous novel, the searing noir that was Zero Saints. I spoke with Iglesias about the process of finding a structure for this book, the role of religion in his work, and how bodies factor into his fiction. 

Continue Reading

Six Ridiculous Questions: Shane Jesse Christmass


The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

Continue Reading