paper trail

Kimberly King Parsons on her new story collection; Roy Scranton on narrative in the Anthropocene

Kimberly King Parsons. Photo: Heather Hawksford

Otherppl’s Brad Listi talks to Kimberly King Parsons about empathy, Texas, and her new story collection, Black Light. “I wasn’t planning for this to be a collection. I was just learning how to write,” she said. “I had this big project that ended up being a big disaster, but I was writing these stories that were the things that made me really excited. I just thought that this was to practice or to hone craft; I wasn’t thinking of them as a collection but standalone pieces. What started to happen was that my obsessions and preoccupations kept coming up in the same way.”

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At Literary Hub, Roy Scranton reflects on how narrative fails us in the Anthropocene. “Narrative reprocesses the raw experience of sensory data into socially sanctioned collective hallucination. We binge-watch to distract ourselves from the apocalyptic tedium of our day-to-day lives, which is enlivened only by flagrant acts of racialized police violence, the occasional mass shooting, political scandals, and the catastrophic upheavals promised by climate change,” he writes. “We read stories to confirm our sense of ourselves as engaged in real struggles, hoping real hopes, fighting real foes. Meanwhile the true enemy lurks within.”