We Talk to the Author of BENNINGTON GIRLS ARE EASY
Charlotte Silver photographed by Daniel Lake.
If it’s true that novelists possess a predestinating, God-like power over their characters, they must also admit it and not disguise their power with artificial compassion, which would be an act of bad faith. Charlotte Silver knows something about such mastery. In Bennington Girls Are Easy, the mischievous novelist isn’t afraid to cast a cold eye and mock the ridiculousness of young people today.
Silver arrived in 2012 with a memoir, Charlotte au Chocolate—a wistful autobiography of her upbringing ...
Annie Liontas photographed by Sara Nordstrom.
“What do we owe our father?” is the first question asked in Let Me Explain You. That it is posed by the father, Stavros Stavros Mavrakis, to his children, via the email address SteveStavrosStavrosMavrakisgreekboss1@yahoo.com, provides a perfect introduction to the robustly mustachioed patriarch anchoring Annie Liontas’ shining debut.
“Dear, Family. Daughters & Ex-Wife: Let me explain you something: I am sick in a way that no doctor would have much understanding. I am sick in a way ...
Mia Couto photographed by Pedro Soares.
In rural Mozambique, it’s not uncommon for humans to be eaten by lions—a fact that Mia Couto was reminded of in 2008.
During that year, the Portuguese-descended, native Mozambican writer—who is also a biologist—was working on a natural gas excavation project when lions killed 26 people over 5 months. After the first attack, Couto went to his tent and began putting his fear down on paper. Those first sentences would grow into his novel Confession of the Lioness, a haunting ...
Ernest Cline photographed by Dan Winters.
For a guy operating under some dangerously high expectations, Ernie Cline is surprisingly cool and collected when I reach him at home in Austin, Texas, although his inner fanboy is too animated to stay quiet for long.
To recap his origin story, Cline came to prominence as the screenwriter of the 2009 indie film Fanboys. Then in 2010, he sold his first novel, Ready Player One (hereafter known as RPO), which inspired a fierce bidding war for both the publishing ...
David Black photographed by Barbara Weisberg.
In the first chapter of David Black’s Fast Shuffle, pitch-perfect detail and description transport the reader to the classic days of hard-boiled detective fiction. Black’s PI Harry Dickinson smokes unfiltered cigarettes, sports wide lapels, and a maroon tie “a hand span higher than his belt.” In his office “dusty daylight filter[s] in through the slats of crooked venetian blinds.” And all the while, Harry keeps humming “Stormy Weather.”
Then comes a jolt of reality. In the ...
Julia Pierpont photographed by Shiva Rouhani.
Julia Pierpont’s Among the Ten Thousand Things opens with a letter to a wife from her husband’s lover.
“I began sleeping with your husband last June. We were together for seven months, almost as long as I’ve known him,” Pierpont writes. “We did it in my apartment. Or I went to his studio, a lot. One time at the Comfort Inn in midtown, last August. He used his Visa. Look it up.”
The twisted missive accompanies ...
The author of PRETTY IS describes her inspirations
Maggie Mitchell photographed by Jill Sutton.
Words I missed in the course of my spelling bee career, between the ages of 11 and 14: Vichyssoise. Oenologist. Creel. Narcissism.
I had no acquaintance with French cuisine, or viniculture, or the accoutrements of fishermen: the first three words could be excused. But narcissism? That one has always felt like an ironic nudge, a slightly barbed private joke. Wasn’t it admiration I was seeking on the spelling bee circuit, in my own hapless, nerdy way? And doesn’t that boil ...
Author of SPEAK
Loiusa Hall photographed by Bonnie Berry.
A few weeks ago, a publishing sales representative visited the bookstore where I work. He lives on the West Coast, but he was in Houston for personal reasons: a family member was receiving treatment at the Texas Medical Center. Yet despite the tough spot in his life, he became animated about books, telling me about one in particular: “Have you read Speak yet? It’s amazing—and it’s not even my book!” What he meant was, he didn’t work for Speak ...