introducing readers to writers since 1995

April 18, 2005

Interview Roundup: Got Me So Down, I Got Me a Headache

by Ron Hogan

  • Salon talks to Paula Kamen about accepting a daily existence that feels, as Andrew O'Hehir paraphrases, "like having ground glass in her eye, sometimes like having a railroad spike driven through her head, sometimes like having a barbed fishhook twanging at her optic nerve." (Kamen's own description of life as a "Tired Girl" can be found in her memoir, All in My Head.) In another section of the website, it's hard to imagine who the editors think they're fooling when they claim "James Atlas explores subjects writers rarely tackle: limitation and loss." Or maybe they just don't read much.

  • N.M. Kelby and Aimee Bender recently exchanged emails about writing with mindfulness, finding humor in the darkness, and Bender's description of writerly obligation:

    "I think we owe readers a window, meaning we need to get out of our own heads enough to show something past ourselves, something larger. But we also owe readers voice, meaning we cannot pretend we are not there, making the glass of that window and the window frame. We have to be there. It's such a hard balance--both being there, and also getting out of the way."

  • I have to admit I hadn't heard of Kamila Shamsie before reading the interview with her in the Telegraph, but I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for her next novel, Broken Verses, when it comes out in the U.S. in a month or so.

  • The Miami Herald is the last paper in the world I'd expect to be catching up with Jeanette Winterson, or to be making cheeky juxtapositions of "lesbian desperado" and "fish pie" in doing so, but this is what a book tour leads to, I suppose.

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