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


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: “We tend not to think of those stories as sources of power or value, but narrative can be a form of resistance.”

Ottessa Moshfegh: “There’s a line in my writing between sensitivity and sentimentality. Sentimentality is a curse, and it turns any art into trite entertainment.”

Olivia Laing: “When I was writing Lonely City, I obsessively played Tetris for hours a day. I thought it was ridiculous, but it turned out to be an exercise in structure, in how to assemble objects in empty space.”

Mary Wang

Mary Wang is the multimedia editor of 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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