Category Archives: Interview

An Interview with Chad Simpson

Earlier this month we reviewed Chad Simpson’s story collection Tell Everyone I Said Hi. Over the last few months, we’ve had an email volley going about the book, his writing, and how the Midwest might be maligned. Here it is, in its basically (but not totally!) unabridged form.

MORRIS:  So how did it feel to win the 2012 John Simmons Short Fiction Award? To my recollection, your name has come up a lot in the various near-miss categories for a number of awards. Was this something that felt more possible because you were so much on the cusp, or was it difficult to maintain a positive attitude with so many variations on the “you almost got there, slugger” rejection?

SIMPSON:  Because I was a finalist for two book contests in 2011, I don’t think I was quite as shocked as I might otherwise have been when I received the phone call from the University of Iowa Press. I was surprised, no doubt, but the call didn’t floor me. Over the course of the past several months, as the news has both spread and had time to sink in, I’ve begun to realize just how much luck is involved in winning a contest like this. You have to submit a decent manuscript to win, of course, but it takes a lot more than that. So, I feel lucky. And humbled. And very excited that this book of mine is going to be released into the world. Continue reading

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An Interview with D. T. Max

This Tuesday, Viking Press will release D. T. Max’s Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. I first read Max in a college copyediting course, where his wonderful article on editorial boundaries and the relationship between Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish was assigned. Our professor talked fondly of the buzz created by the article, how it was all anyone talked about, how he and his friends wrestled with what the revelations about Lish’s heavy influence meant about Carver’s work.

When I found out Max was writing the first comprehensive biography of Wallace, I hoped he might help us at least know more Wallace’s life and work. And of course I had high hopes—Max’s heartbreaking New Yorker piece on Wallace’s final years augured well for a larger project.

Max was kind enough to speak with me about the book’s reception, the DFW backlash, and where The Pale King fits in Wallace’s oeuvre. Special thanks to Viking’s Shannon Twomey for arranging the interview.  Continue reading

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