Miscellaneous Files is a series of virtual studio visits that uses writers’ digital artifacts to understand their practice. Conceived by Mary Wang, each interview provides an intimate look into the artistic process.



Patricia Lockwood: “I like the things people on the internet can’t talk about.”

Elizabeth Lo: “Like the dogs, I existed in a limbo where I wasn’t entirely part of human society.”



Laila Lalami: “We have to think about citizenship as a relationship.”

Hilton Als: “It’s always so moving to see how art claims us out of a kind of loneliness.”

Anne Helen Peterson: “What else is there but my ability to work?”

Hazel Carby: “If it can’t actually cope with the entanglement of all these histories, then to me, it’s useless.” 

Miscellaneous Files on Racial Justice: Eric Ward, Cat Brooks

Miscellaneous Files on Racial Justice: Sylvana Simons, Rosebell Kagumire, Amanda Adé

Ken Liu: “We get to define the stories we want to be told about us.”

Maisy Card: “There is this hazy quality to my family history that no amount of research can clarify.”

Ariella Aïsha Azoulay: “It is not possible to decolonize the museum without decolonizing the world.”

Namwali Serpell: “I almost always find my errors productive.”



Helen Phillips: “Living with the awareness of the abyss is probably a good thing.”

Wayne Koestenbaum: “I use obscene as a term of praise.”

Binnie Kirshenbaum: “If you think you shouldn’t say something, say it.”

Leanne Shapton: “The mix of proof, shock, and totally crappy images.”

Morgan Parker: “In the back of my mind I’m on a slave ship, yet I’m also here just telling you how it is.” 

Valeria Luiselli: “There are always fingerprints of the archive in my books.”

Anelise Chen: “Then I changed it to third-person clam, and that was exactly how it was meant to be.”



Jabari Asim: “Narrative can be a form of resistance.”

Ottessa Moshfegh: “Sentimentality is a curse.”

Olivia Laing: “It turned out to be an exercise in structure, in how to assemble objects in empty space.”


Mary Wang

Mary Wang is a senior editor at Guernica. She runs the Miscellaneous Files interview series, in which she talks to writers about their practice through the screenshots, notes, and other digital marginalia found on the writers' devices.

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