Interview with Karen Russell at Chicago Review of Books

Karen Russell and I spoke for about an hour over the phone a few weeks back. Our conversation is one I’ll never forget. We talked about monsters, and our talk helped me channel my ideas for my novel, which I think I’m making progress on. Karen’s my literary hero. The way she balances magic with real humanity is incredible. And enviable.

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Interview with De'Shawn Charles Winslow at Electric Literature

2019 is the best year for literature in a long time. There are so many incredible books out—and coming soon. De’Shawn Charles Winslow’s In West Mills is one of those books. The novel follows the lives of Knot and Otis Lee as they experience life in a rural North Carolina community. Knot is truly one of the greatest characters I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know recently. She’s hilarious. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing In West Mills throughout the year, especially as the book awards start to kick off.

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Interview with Mary Miller at The Rumpus

Mary Miller is one of my favorite writers and has been since I read her novel The Last Days of California. Well, Biloxi is even better than that book. Her latest is a novel about the South and the people who inhabit it. She captures voices so authentically, and the characters she creates are absolutely wonderful. I was thrilled to be able to ask Mary a few questions over at The Rumpus.

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My June Reading Journal

It’s the best time of the year: summer break. For me, that means lots of extra time for reading and writing. Luckily for me, June brought some of the best reads of the year. I can’t pick one highlight, but work from Chris Ware, Julia Phillips, Shaun Hamill, and Casep Cep lead the charge.

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New Story: "Losing Light" at The Cabinet of Heed

"Losing Light" is a story about a boy named Gresh who eats fireflies. No one can understand why, but his unnamed brother, who serves as the story's narrator, has an especially difficult time understanding why Gresh wants to eat these creatures. Gresh obviously hungers for them, but the brother hungers for understanding and, later, for redemption as he struggles in understanding the harsh realities of his world. This is a strange little story, but I'm super proud of it. 

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My May Reading Journal

May was BUSY, so my notes are short. Still, though, I was able to experience some really good literature. Undoubtedly, J. Ryan Stradal’s latest was the best book I read in May. Here’s my recap in reading of the month that was:

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I'm Profiled at Lit Hub Today

When I found out the folks at Lit Hub were wanting to profile me for their “Secrets of the Book Critic” series, I couldn’t believe it. I eagerly agreed, and set out to answer some questions about book world.

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My April Reading Journal

April is usually the busiest and most stressful month of the year for me. 2019 was NOT an exception. Still, I managed to read 7 books, which isn’t too bad. In West Mills is the winner of my month—and maybe of my year. It’s spectacularly good. Here’s a recap of my reading from the month that was:

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Review: Molly Dektar's The Ash Family

Molly Dektar’s The Ash Family is one of my favorite debuts of the year. It’s about cult living, family, freedom, and understanding self. It’s unsettling, but it’s also inspiring in ways. It was my pleasure to be able to review it for the Chicago Review of Books.

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The Pulitzer Prize is Coming...

The Pulitzer Prize is a celebration of the year that was’ “best” literature. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to write about the Prize for Electric Literature. Like I did a couple of years ago, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 most-likely contenders for the Pulitzer.

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New Story Alert: "Those Fantastic Lives" at Syntax & Salt

If writers can pick favorite stories of their own catalog, I’m claiming “Those Fantastic Lives” as mine. I worked on it for such a long time to get it just how I wanted it, and I’m so proud of it. It’s about a young boy and his psychic grandmother. This story looks at issues of legacy and belonging. It’s sad like most of my stories, but it’s also hopeful.

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Sending My Debut Short Story Collection Into the World

The editors at BULL, Syntax & Salt, Rose Red Review, Signal Mountain Review, formercactus, Literary Orphans, Ghost Parachute, The Wild Hunt, The Airgonaut, Five:2:One, Vending Machine Press, Occulum, and Drunk Monkeys have already believed in me, so I’ll believe in myself as this journey continues.

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My January Reading Journal

2019 is here. Of course, a new year brings new books. I have lots of galleys to get to that are about to break my shelf, so I talk about several upcoming releases below. But I also go back in time for some classics. Here are some thoughts about my reading from the first month of 2019.

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