Keith Rosson on the Uncanny Fiction of “Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons”

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Keith Rosson is equally at home writing about the trials and tribulations found in everyday life as he is the bizarre and uncanny. His characters range from a once-beloved painter fallen on hard times to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on a team-building retreat; one of the things that makes his work so compelling is that he finds the same empathy for both. I spoke with Rosson on the occasion of the release of his new collection, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, about his distinctive approach to fiction.

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Sontag on Heartbreak

Sontag Journals

Sontag on Heartbreak
by Lee Felice Pinkas 

My first heartbreak, at age fifteen, sent me to songs. To schlocky inspirational books whose platitudes I held close, repeated like mantras. Later, revisiting the knots of a complicated relationship in my late twenties, I found Susan Sontag’s journals.

“I always fell for the bullies,” Sontag admits. “Their rejection of me showed their superior qualities, their good taste.”

I found her book in Berlin, Germany. I had followed a guy named Jonah there the summer after our breakup. I was not proud of myself, leaning on pretexts to save myself from the truth that I had crossed the Atlantic to pursue the ghost of a relationship. 

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Jeff Jackson on Julian Calendar’s Visceral, Conceptual Rock Sound

"Four" cover

Jeff Jackson is the author of Destroy All Monsters, a heady yet visceral take on rock music, violence, and the nature of communities. Jeff Jackson also plays music in Julian Calendar, a postpunk band whose music could also be described as heady yet visceral. Since 2017, the group has released 5 records, including 4 EPs in the Crimson Static series.As an admirer of Jackson’s work in both spheres, I reached out to him about discussing the evolution of his foray into music, and how it’s affected his writing.

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