CHASE GRIFFIN is an author from Florida whose debut novel, What’s on the Menu?, was published by Long Day Press. You can find his writing in Oyez Review, Fugitives and Futurists, Funny Looking Dog Quarterly, Sobotka Literary Magazine, Maudlin House, Breadcrumbs Magazine, and elsewhere. The Rocco Atleby Foundation, the podcast he produces with his partner, Christina Quay, can be streamed on Spotify and Apple.
Early in John Brandon’s fourth novel, Ivory Shoals—a spirited remaking of the prodigal-son parable set in the American South during the final days of the Civil War—twelve-year-old Gussie Dwyer has come to collect the savings his recently deceased mother, Lavina, entrusted with her long-time employer, Rye. Rye delays this encounter, leaving the boy to wait awkwardly in the barroom, a foreign space reserved for hardened men and the working women looking to entertain them. Out of economic desperation, Lavina had turned to prostitution to support her family.
Class and privilege; morality and identity. These are all themes that have fueled novelists and storytellers over the years. But it’s difficult to think of a novel that’s used them in quite the same combination as Virtue, Hermione Hoby‘s new novel. At its center is a young man named Luca, who works as an intern at a prestigious literary magazine and falls into the orbit of two successful artists, Paula and Jason, who are several years his senior. Hoby’s novel offers a stunning take on recent history and a haunting look at interpersonal connections. I spoke with Hoby via email to learn more about how Virtue came to be.
Kai Carlson-Wee’s poetry and filmmaking explore a kind of restlessness that manifests itself in many forms. Robert Bly called his book Rail ” strong and inspired,” and his short documentary film Riding the Highline has won several awards since its release in 2015. What’s behind these different artistic impulses, and where do they converge? Chaya Bhuvaneswar spoke with Carlson-Wee to learn more about these forays into multiple artistic disciplines.
MARTHA GROVER is an author, poet, and folk artist living in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of two memoirs for Perfect Day Publishing: One More for the People (2011) and The End of My Career (2016), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards in creative nonfiction in 2017. Her work has also appeared in The Collagist, Vol.1 Brooklyn and The Portland Mercury, among other places. She has been publishing her zine, Somnambulist, since 2003. Martha is currently at work on a fantasy novel, and her third book of poetry, illustration and lyric essay, Sorry I Was Gone, will be published in 2021.
Jeff Chon’s debut novel proves the need for psychologically dense, overlooked characters in our fiction for the present moment. With Hashtag Good Guy with a Gun, Chon has chosen a very forward-sitting scab to pick at on the forehead of America. Set four days before the 2016 presidential election, Chon’s characters frame our cultural moment in urgent and unforgiving ways, and his dark satire wrestles time and again with humanity’s injurious existence. Bouts of conspiracy rampant and rewriting our present tense, Chon is able to pen these unpopular glooms with a sly humor befitting his all-too-relevant tragicomic study of modern egos.
Megan Miranda picks up the phone, explaining that I’m catching her at the beginning of allergy season, also known as Spring, and we chat about her path from working in biotech to teaching high school science to returning her dream: writing. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and migrated to a small town in North Carolina where she lives with her family. The author of five novels for adults and several books for young adults, Miranda’s methodical plots often balance on the knife edge of science and law, while her atmospheric writing carries with it always a bedroom intimacy. In her latest and most eerie novel, Such a Quiet Place, which of course isn’t quiet at all, Miranda continues to write through the layers of a mystery, creating a prism of suspense, through the themes and characters that steadily return to her.
SEAN KILPATRICK wrote Anatomy Courses (with Blake Butler; Lazy Fascist Press, 2012); Gil the Nihilist: A Sitcom (Lazy Fascist Press, 2013); Sucker June (Lazy Fascist Press, 2015); Thank You, Steel China (Schism  Press, 2016), Sir William Forsythe’s Freebase Nuptials: A Screenplay (Sagging Meniscus Press, 2017), and Collected Scripts (11:11 Press, 2021). He has written for Nerve, Fence, Vice, Bomb, Evergreen Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Hobart, New York Tyrant, Exquisite Corpse, Juked, and The Collagist, among several other publications. Check out his podcast.