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Interview

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Talking With Courtney Maum

A month or two ago, I talked with Courtney Maum for PW. Maum’s debut novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, is pretty amazing. Make it one of your summer reads.

Our phone conversation lasted a good half hour, so the finished piece is only a fraction of what we talked about. Really great stuff got chopped, but what remains provides some insight as to Maum’s inspiration and sensibilities.

Read all about it here.

Bonus! Here’s a question that got cut from the final draft:

Do you think the characters of Anne, Richard’s wife, and Lisa, Richard’s lover, share similar outlooks on happiness?

Anne is French, so they can never share the same idea of happiness (laughs). It’s a very American thing, this idea of happiness as achievable and tangible. I think their answers to this question would be completely different. Lisa would see happiness as a state of mind that can be accessed by doing certain things, whereas Anne would be more pragmatic. She would scoff at the idea of “happiness” as something you could check off on a list.

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Interview

Visiting Wonderland with Stacey D’Erasmo

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Recently, I talked with Stacey D’Erasmo about her superb new book, Wonderland, for Publishers Weekly. The transcript is now up on the PW website (though you need to be a subscriber to read the piece). I believe the interview will also appear in an upcoming print edition. (UPDATE: It is in the 3/17/14 issue)

D’Erasmo’s book, about a rock musician attempting a comeback, is full of fantastic, lyrical prose, and in our chat, we discussed just how she captured that “on the road” life. Turns out she actually went on tour with Scissor Sisters.

We talked long enough for multiple interviews, and I ended up cutting out more than I wanted. But the end piece represents the general flavor of our chat.

Here’s a link to the interview. I’m sure it’ll eventually pop up for free.

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Interview Uncategorized

PW interview clears paywall

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My chat with Jessica Hollander has now cleared the Publishers Weekly paywall. You can read it here. Oh, and her book would make a great stocking stuffer!

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Interview

Chatting with Jessica Hollander

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I regularly write semi-anonymous book reviews for Publishers Weekly, but recently I got to talk to Jessica Hollander for the magazine. I wrote about her debut collection (this isn’t so much a secret, as we started our contact with, “Hi, I’m Ben, the guy who reviewed your book!”), and was so floored that, when the chance came to interview her, I jumped at the opportunity. During our Skype session, we touched on influence, books, and family. If you’re a subscriber to PW, you can read the whole transcript here. Hopefully the interview turns free for all soon.