Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 97: Joseph Fasano)

Joseph Fasano


JOSEPH FASANO is an American novelist, poet, and songwriter. His novels include The Swallows of Lunetto (Maudlin House, 2022) and The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing (Platypus Press, 2020), which was named one of the “20 Best Small Press Books of 2020.”  His books of poetry include The Crossing (2018), Vincent (2015), Inheritance (2014), and Fugue for Other Hands (2013).  His honors include the Cider Press Review Book Award, the Rattle Poetry Prize, seven Pushcart Prize nominations, and a nomination for the Poets Prize.

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When Absent Characters Loom Large


Sometimes, the most important character in a novel isn’t the one who appears on the greatest number of pages. Sometimes a reader can be most emotionally affected by a character who doesn’t appear on the page at all. Neither of these describes the vast majority of novels; most traditional narratives generally put their most compelling characters front and center. Creating a character whose presence is felt without necessarily making regular appearances is harder to pull off: it’s a kind of balancing act, an endeavor to make sure that a character’s reputation doesn’t outshine their actual appearance. “Show, don’t tell” is the old maxim, to be sure–but if done with enough verve, the telling can be effective in its own way. 

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