Eleanor Stern

  • interviews February 23, 2021

    The Listening Cure

    In her fiction, Lucie Elven delves into the uses and abuses of language—the way it can obscure or uphold power dynamics, and act as medicine, a shield, or a trap. Elven’s new novel, The Weak Spot, is a fable and a tale of workplace power dynamics. The book’s nameless narrator accepts a pharmacy apprenticeship in a mountain town, where the pharmacy’s owner, Mr. Malone, trains her to think of her work as a type of therapy. She hears her customers’ fears and complaints, teasing out their secrets while Mr. Malone eavesdrops. This comes naturally to the narrator, who nurtures a faith in the ability

  • interviews July 27, 2020

    Ghost World

    Laura van den Berg writes ghost stories: In her new book, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, absences assume a life of their own, demanding to be acknowledged. The dead, the forgotten, and the lost have a shimmering vibrancy, becoming more present than the real. Like her ghostly figures, van den Berg comes home in this collection. Short stories were her first literary love, and I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is her return to the form after two successful novels.

    The book also represents a more literal homecoming. Van den Berg’s stories traverse the world, but almost always weave their way back to Florida,