“‘Two Snakes Fighting’ Bores the Shit out of Me”: An Interview with Josh Russell

Josh Russell

In the Summer of 2020, I was hospitalized for almost a month and reached out via text to a limited number of writer-friends to let them know what was going on with me. Of that small number, Josh Russell has stayed in touch with me daily, in a manner that has improved my health, deepened our friendship, and, I hope, aided each other during a period in which there have been many days where both of us wondered if there was any reason to write fiction, particularly the kind of fiction each of us have chosen to pursue. 

During that time, we’ve seen too how both of us, survivors of the eighties, midwesterners who’ve lived most of our adult lives in the south, married to southerners, who’ve navigated through a number of different universities—nine have seen fit to employ the two of us—have more in common than not. And I will say it unhesitatingly: I have no other correspondent whom I look forward to hearing from more. 

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Your Italo Calvino Audio For The Day

If you’d like to hear an author of metafiction prompt a crowded room to erupt in laughter, you might want to listen to Italo Calvino reading from a selection of his works (including Invisible Cities) at the 92nd Street Y in 1983. His tone moves from the somber to the witty, and the audience responds in kind.

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#tobyreads: Recommended Reading Leads to Work from Kavan, Calvino, and Lynch

This week, we’re looking at books that have come highly recommended — which isn’t to say that this trio doesn’t turn out to have much in common. In fact, they do, despite being in disparate forms (one collection, one novel, one memoir-slash-essay collection.) All of these books got me thinking about big issues — life, death, how we connect to those around us —  you know, the kinds of topics that make for deeply upbeat conversations, and don’t at all […]

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