Deborah Eisenberg reading at the University of Richmond
Ben Marcus has called MacArthur "genius" grant winner Deborah Eisenberg "one of the most important fiction writers now at work." Here she is reading "Some Other Better Otto," a story featuring a "very very irritable person at the best of times" who is in a "particularly horrible mood right now."
An Interview with Chris Kraus
Artist and author Chris Kraus talks with Martin Rumsby about film and capitalism ("Capitalism thrives on narrative"), as well as her film
Gravity & Grace
, her "ticket out of the ghetto of the experimental film world."
Deb Olin Unferth and Ben Marcus Read New Work
Ben Marcus gives a preview of his forthcoming novel,
The Flaming Alphabet
, which will be published in January 2012. But first, Deb Olin Unferth reads from her artful
Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War
, a memoir that shifts from wise to youthful to hilarious—often in the course of a single sentence.
Brett McCracken, Erik Thoennes, Craig Hazen, Matt Jenson, and Stan Jantz discuss McCracken's book
Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide
An Interview with Vladimir Nabokov
A classic 1950s CBC television interview with Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discussing
: "We can't trust a creative writer to say what he has done."
An Interview with Jonathan Franzen
"It takes me a long time to write a novel, and what gets me going, finally, is trying to figure the world out," says Jonathan Franzen. Here, he discusses the inspirations behind his novel
, and one of the challenges he faces as a writer: How to describe characters without satirizing them.
Happy John Ashbery Day
If you live in New York City—or anywhere, really—today, April 7, is John Ashbery Day. And while this does not mean that we get the day off from work, we nonetheless have been searching for ways to pay homage to the great poet. Here's a good start: A video of Ashbery giving a nimble reading of his poem "Interesting People of Newfoundland." "Doc Hanks, the sawbones, was a real good surgeon / when he wasn't completely drunk, which was most of the time. / When only half drunk he could perform decent cranial surgery."
CAConrad reads in a bathtub
Readings can take place in a lot of places—bookstores, bars. Or, as this video of CAConrad proves, a bathtub. Here, the author of the excellent
The Book of Frank
introduces a poem by saying: "I was finding a lot of crow feathers. And I had this dream that I gave birth to a little baby.... It was a little cake baby. And I gave it to the crows and the crows loved it, and it made me really happy." Happy Poetry Month!
Tom McCarthy: In Praise of Georg Trakl
Tom McCarthy's novel
takes place in the early 20th century and is rife with allusions, radio signals, war, drugs addict, and secrets. Here, he talks about his "new favorite author," the early-20th-century German poet Georg Trakl, a drug addict and doctor during World War I. Says McCarthy: "His whole world is polluted and toxic."
An Interview with Rahna Reiko Rizzuto
Journalist Sheryl McCarthy chats with Rahna Reiko Rizzuto about her memoir
Hiroshima in the Morning
, in which the author talks with people who survived the atomic attacks.
Jaimy Gordon reads from
Lord of Misrule
National Book Award-winner in fiction Jaimy Gordon reads from her racetrack novel
Lord of Misrule
at the 2010 National Book Awards finalists event.
Utopia and Dystopia: Geographies of the Possible
Authors Inga Kuznetsova, Jonathan Lethem, Eshkol Nevo, and Andrzej Stasiuk discuss the best—and worst—of all possible worlds; moderated by
editor Albert Mobilio.
David Foster Wallace Interviewed by Charlie Rose
We're currently in the midst of
overload, and as everyone writes about David Foster Wallace, it can become difficult to remember what he was actually like. Here's something to refresh our memories: Excerpts from Wallace's 1996 interview with Charlie Rose, on the "Future of Fiction in the Information Age."
Green Is the New Red
by Will Potter
Here's the trailer for Will Potter's new book,
Green Is the New Red
, an investigation of how environmental and animal activists are being treated as terrorists.
An Interview with Loorie Moore
The celebrated fiction writer Lorrie Moore reflects on the post-9/11 world rendered in her latest book,
A Gate at the Stairs