Alex Lemon: A Ferocious Kind of MusicApril 2014
Why poetry needs more grit.
Thomas Larson: The Fearless Oratory of Christopher HitchensFebruary 2014
The relationship between Hitchens’ written and public voices illustrates the potential of the social author.
Jessica Pishko: The News from San Quentin, Part 2January 2014
Free Expression: Crime and punishment and “disapproved content.”
Xiaolu Guo: Why Do We Still Pretend We Are Free?January 2014
Free Expression: The writer and filmmaker on her encounters with commercial censorship.
Akhil Sharma: When Despair and Tenderness CollideJanuary 2014
Mohsin Hamid and Akhil Sharma’s conversation about writing, literary labels, and how illness challenges narrative.
A Gap in DefinitionsJanuary 2014
The award-winning Northern Irish writer on life in New York, poetry as “a way of being alone without feeling alone,” and why “all writing is political.”
Benjamin Percy: In Touch with the Tooth and ClawJanuary 2014
Alicia Oltuski talks with the novelist about writing habits, slippery science, and terror.
Win Bassett: Prison ScratchingsNovember 2013
A former assistant district attorney reflects on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer and the intimacy of the handwritten word.
Catherine O’Flynn: What Remains of UsOctober 2013
Catherine O’Flynn talks with Rob Sharp about the connection between humor and tragedy, the places we look for happiness, and why she set her novel in a British shopping mall.
Telling a WhopperOctober 2013
The writer-musician rewrites the Battle Hymn in his new novel, The Good Lord Bird.
The Naked ManSeptember 2013
In the modern redux, penis is patriarchy, and patriarchy is violence. But must to show one’s penis be to endorse power and privilege? An, er, intimate reconsideration of male nudity.
Bare-Knuckle WritingSeptember 2013
The acclaimed novelist & art critic on dismantling notions of gendered writing, the pleasures of translated texts, and “the clear divide between art and politics” in contemporary American fiction.
Jaswinder Bolina: Avoiding the ObviousJune 2013
Poet Jaswinder Bolina discusses writing about race, the process of being translated, and more.
You Are The Second PersonJune 2013
You wondered out loud what writing “multiculturally” actually meant and what kind of black man would write the word “bro” in an email.
Zahir Janmohamed: Writer of ColorJune 2013
On being asked to speak for a whole community and region rather than yourself.
The Answer is ColombiaJune 2013
Reading Gabriel García Márquez’s morbidity in the happiest country on earth.
The bestselling author of Wild on the Pacific Crest Trail, bringing consciousness to bear on the work, and how success has been met with a backlash.
The Faraway NearbyMay 2013
What’s your story? It’s all in the telling.
Interior LivesMay 2013
The award-winning novelist on the fluidity of sexuality, the intersections of art and selfishness, and her most recent book, The Woman Upstairs.
Mira Ptacin: Is a Baby a Luxury?May 2013
When a chemical stick revealed that our little family was about to change, we were overjoyed. But not insured.
Another Kind of LifeMay 2013
The American writer discusses turning his back on showy prose, being labelled an “erotic” author, and “the importance of being somebody.”
We Call This ProgressDecember 2012
From a speech at the Earth at Risk conference, Roy on the misuses of democracy and the revolutionary power of exclusion.
C.D. Wright: The Obstacle Worth EngagingDecember 2012
The poet C.D. Wright discusses book-length works, the political in art, and more.
This, DesireNovember 2012
Guest fiction editor Roxane Gay introduces this issue’s erotica.
It Doesn’t Mean We’re Wasting Our TimeNovember 2012
Reflections on a postcard from David Foster Wallace
Alexia Nader: Literary MiamiOctober 2012
The broad strokes of Tom Wolfe’s Back to Blood and the subtle specificity of Joan Didion’s Miami.
Katherine Paterson: The Risks of Great LiteratureOctober 2012
Banned Books Week: The celebrated and banned children’s book author speaks with us about the fears of censors, the deaths of children, and what we need to risk for literature.
Alice Walker: Writing What’s RightOctober 2012
Banned Books Week: The author of The Color Purple (and one of America’s most censured writers) tells Megan Labrise about finding wisdom in the songs of ancestors, why her acclaimed novel won’t be translated into Hebrew, and approaching writing in a priestly state of mind.
Natasha Lewis: Zadie Smith’s NW and Big IdeasSeptember 2012
Despite what Kakutani says, Smith’s new novel is not "Mrs. Dalloway Lite."
Alexia Nader: A Lesson from Thomas Hardy on Sex and DramaAugust 2012
Character study vs. flimsy romance in Fifty Shades of Grey, Trishna,and Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Carlos Fuentes: The Lost InterviewJune 2012
A conversation recorded on the road reveals the late author’s take on the role of the writer-as-activist. Read and listen.
Andrea Jones: Brainwave on BrainwavesMay 2012
When writer Rivka Galchen and neuroscientist David Linden get together, the boundaries of science, emotion, and memory blur.
László Krasznahorkai: The Disciplined MadnessApril 2012
The Hungarian writer talks terror in fiction, the aesthetic of the long sentence, his love of contemporary music, and collaborating with Allen Ginsberg.
Tom Bissell: Solitude at the Fault Line of Literary CultureApril 2012
Tom Bissell talks about the blurred line between fiction and non-fiction, ridding the world of mediocre writing, and Tommy Wiseau of The Room.
Astri von Arbin Ahlander: Interview with Sam LipsyteApril 2012
Sam Lipsyte on being an American writer in translation and the venerable tradition of masturbation in literature.
Ondaatje’s TableMarch 2012
Michael Ondaatje on making fiction of un-remembered autobiography, holding back two-thirds of the story, and bringing the marginalized to the center
The Dyer’s HandFebruary 2012
Genre-defying British writer Geoff Dyer on how watching Tarkovsky’s Stalker on repeat turned into his most successful book.
Miracle RealistNovember 2011
In a candid interview, the Israeli author on Netanyahu’s impotence, how his son’s death affected his latest novel, and Israel’s need to embrace Palestinians with humanity.
The author of the lauded graphic novel Blankets discusses the influences behind his new book, the effect of 9/11 on his work, and the decline of the superhero in comics.
The Sick and the WellJuly 2011
Lynne Tillman discusses her latest mindfuck story collection and how social reading platforms erode the barrier between writer and reader.
The author Amitav Ghosh discusses the link between anthropology and writing, The New Yorker’s edit of his essay on the Iraq war, and John Updike’s worst book.
A Kind of Flag-PlantingNovember 2010
On the heels of her second novel and fourth work of fiction, Bender considers magic and math, craft and discipline, and the influence of other writers and artists on her work.