“Stories Incubate in My Head For a Really Long Time”: An Interview With Janalyn Guo

Janalyn Guo‘s fiction emerges from a host of unlikely collisions. In her debut, Our Colony Beyond the City of Ruins, features bizarre amalgamations of humans and vegetable life – but Guo is equally at home taking an Ibsen-inspired story to an unexpected place. Her work abounds with unpredictability: haunting visions of a post-human tomorrow on one page, a quiet moment of introspection on the next. I spoke with her about the roots of this book and the effects of certain spaces on her work.

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Josh Denslow

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.

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“‘Adventures in Babysitting’ is a Classical Text”: An Interview with Big Bruiser Dope Boy

Big Bruiser Dope Boy’s debut poetry collection, Foghorn Leghorn, cannot be sold on Amazon.com. Something about the cover, they said, something about the beloved, Southern-fried Looney Tunes chicken taking a big load on the face, something about that being too problematic for our nation’s youth who are otherwise looking to buy dildos and erotic fanfiction ebooks. So, if you want the brooding, complex poetry that haunts these pages, you gotta find it somewhere else. No two-day shipping on this hot piece of poetry, no algorithmically generated recommendations to clutter shit up. This is poetry in, poetry out. Fuck you.

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Turning Political Divisions Into Surreal Fiction: An Interview With J.S. Breukelaar

Collision, the new collection of stories by J.S. Breukelaar, finds an unsettling balance between high-concept plotlines and intensely visceral encounters with the uncanny. While Breukelaar is adept at creating lived-in settings and lives for her characters, she’s also more than willing to dynamite expectations at a moment’s notice, sending her stories down through impossible memories, fragmented timelines, and bizarre afterlives. I talked with her about the collection’s genesis, how real-world events influenced some of the more fantastical stories within, and the role of music in her work.

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Rebecca Gates

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.

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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?

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“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.

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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.

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