We talk to the creators of Quit Calling Me a Monster!
Not only are Jory John and Bob Shea comedian-level funny—they’re also stand-up guys.
They write smart books for kids (I Will Chomp You!, Quit Calling Me a Monster!). They make sure to shout-out their editor and art director (Maria Modugno! John Sazaklis!). And when your computer overheats and you lose all the files from their phone interview, they graciously agree to a do-over.
Kirkus: First question, Who is Floyd Peterson?
Jory John: Well, that’s a good question—that’s a different question ...
Leopoldine Core’s strange and special debut fiction, When Watched, focuses in on outsiders.
“I always came back to that title,” says Core, whose collection takes its name from the 13th of 19 short stories therein—the first story she ever wrote. “It encapsulates the world of the book—of being in your own wilderness, being on the outside looking in, and being really kind of desperate to connect with people. I wanted to re-imagine what it was to be an outsider—not ...
Colson Whitehead photographed by Michael Lionstar.
Colson Whitehead never writes the same book twice. From the artful allegory of his 1999 debut, The Intuitionist, to 2014’s comic, self-critical nonfiction, The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death, he engages American history, culture, and autobiography in advancing permutations that push the limits of language and genre.
“When I’m writing, I’m trying to figure something out,” says Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad. “There is a question or questions I’m posing to myself about how the world ...
Jay McInerney photographed by Michael Lionstar
New York novelist Jay McInerney never expected the relationship to last 25 years.
“Absolutely not,” says McInerney, whose first novel featuring complicated couple Russell and Corrine Calloway was 1992 bestseller Brightness Falls. “I really just saw the book as a one-off—my first attempt to do a more panoramic view of the city.”
“My earlier novels had been very sharply focused, single voice, voice-driven novels,” says the Bright Lights, Big City author. “Brightness Falls is my fourth ...
Stuart Nadler photographed by Nina Subin
Among the many gems in Stuart Nadler’s dazzling new novel, The Inseparables, is this: “Nobody wore half a dozen amulets quite like my mother. It’s like she’s the female Mr. T.”
Oona, an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Boston, is speaking to her 15-year-old daughter, Lydia, as they marvel at the vintage author photo on a recently reissued book first published in 1976. That book, also called The Inseparables, is an earnest paean to female pleasure (replete with primal anatomical ...
Nicole Dennis-Benn photographed by Emma Benn
In 2010, Nicole Dennis-Benn took a Jamaican vacation. But she wasn’t a typical tourist.
“Growing up there, I had this image of what Jamaica is,” says Dennis-Benn, who was born and raised in Kingston, the nation’s capital and largest city. “When I visited for the first time as a tourist, at the resort, I wasn’t getting the real culture—it was a performance. I knew for sure that these individuals were going home to nothing after giving us the fantasy ...
Emma Rathbone photographed by Renee Reighart
“When did you lose your virginity?” is not a question I typically ask in author interviews. For Losing It author Emma Rathbone, however, it’s becoming de rigueur.
“Even my editor said people are going to ask you when you lost your virginity and they’re going to think that maybe it’s about you,” says Rathbone, whose sophomore novel stars a 26-year-old virgin named Julia Greenfield. “I really don’t know how to broker that because, no, it’s not based on ...
Heather Havrilesky photographed by Willy Somma