Rebecca Schuh

  • interviews March 06, 2019

    Bookforum talks to Leah Dieterich

    Leah Dieterich’s Vanishing Twins is more than a memoir about love and marriage, It’s a literary experiment in both structure and subject, a novel mix of theory and story, The book examines Dieterich’s marriage to Eric, a man she met in college.

    Leah Dieterich’s Vanishing Twins is more than a memoir about love and marriage. It’s a literary experiment in both structure and subject, a novel mix of theory and story. The book examines Dieterich’s marriage to Eric, a man she met in college. When they first got together, they formed an unusually close partnership, creating a private world that felt both thrilling and stifling (as Dieterich notes, they had never spent more than a night apart). Eventually, this dynamic became overwhelming to her, and the couple decided to experiment with non-monogamy. Dieterich narrates the ensuing adventures,

  • interviews September 12, 2018

    Bookforum talks to Michelle Dean

    At first, it might be hard to see the connection between the ten critics profiled in Michelle Dean’s Sharp. Writers such as Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Hannah Arendt, Janet Malcolm, and Nora Ephron were singular talents—each an uneasy fit for any neat label. What links them, Dean writes, was that they were “sharp”—the word was often used as an insult—and possessed a keen critical facility that was underappreciated at the time but has become extremely influential.

    At first, it might be hard to see the connection between the ten critics profiled in Michelle Dean’s Sharp. Writers such as Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Hannah Arendt, Janet Malcolm, and Nora Ephron were singular talents—each an uneasy fit for any neat label. What links them, Dean writes, was that they were “sharp”—the word was often used as an insult—and possessed a keen critical facility that was underappreciated at the time but has become extremely influential. Dean’s book is an alternative to the usual, single-subject biography, which often considered “these women in isolation,

  • interviews June 22, 2018

    Bookforum talks to Cheston Knapp

    The word essay comes from a French word meaning “to try,” But thinking of an essay as simply an exploratory effort diminishes the form’s deep tradition—one worthy of serious study, With his debut collection, Up Up, Down Down, Cheston Knapp exhibits both a studied mastery of the form and a reverence for its artistry.

    The word essay comes from a French word meaning “to try.” But thinking of an essay as simply an exploratory effort diminishes the form’s deep tradition—one worthy of serious study. With his debut collection, Up Up, Down Down, Cheston Knapp exhibits both a studied mastery of the form and a reverence for its artistry. In his capacious works, Knapp seamlessly weaves seemingly disparate topics. In one essay, he studies the performative nature of professional wrestling alongside memories of a fraught father-son relationship. In another, he scrutinizes both UFO fanatics and his own relationship with

  • interviews August 09, 2017

    Bookforum talks with Rachel Khong

    Rachel Khong’s debut novel, Goodbye, Vitamin, begins after the narrator, Ruth, has been suddenly and inexplicably dumped by her fiancé. She decides to cut her losses and move home to help her family cope with her father’s recent Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

    Rachel Khong’s debut novel, Goodbye, Vitamin, begins after the narrator, Ruth, has been suddenly and inexplicably dumped by her fiancé. Alone and adrift in San Francisco, a city that she has little connection to outside the failed relationship, she decides to cut her losses and move home to help her family cope with her father’s recent Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The landscape and history of Southern California drives the diary-like narrative of Ruth’s return to the Inland Empire. Jarred by the unexpected breakup and her father’s increasingly erratic behavior, Ruth spends much of her time wryly

  • interviews March 23, 2017

    Bookforum talks with Melissa Febos

    In the early essays of Melissa Febos's Abandon Me, we watch her build a relationship with a bedazzling lover as she mines her past for the stories that made her the person she is—from an exploration of hickeys to a taxonomy of the gifts she receives from her lover, which are "beautiful and a little gruesome."

    In the early essays of Melissa Febos's Abandon Me, we watch her build a relationship with a bedazzling lover as she mines her past for the stories that made her the person she is—from an exploration of hickeys to a taxonomy of the gifts she receives from her lover, which are "beautiful and a little gruesome." The essays build into an interrogation of relationships, idolization, and how the author's past intertwines with cultural history. Though the book explores bonds that Febos has with others—lovers, friends, lost and found family members—the relationship it ultimately depicts is the one that