“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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Artifacts, Merch Tables, and Hauntings: Mairead Case on “Tiny”

Mairead Case

Mairead Case’s first novel, See You In the Morning, was a moving and unpredictable coming-of-age story; I spoke with her about it in 2015. Her new novel, Tiny, uses a more formally inventive structure to tell a story of family, grief, and community. (It’s also a retelling of Antigone.) It’s a fantastic work in its own right and an impressive demonstration of what Case is capable of, a work that’s simultaneously intimate and epic. We checked in via email to talk about the book’s origins and the ways in which it resonates right now. Experimental post-punk bands/art projects came up as well, as they tend to do.

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