Contributor Spotlight: Kashana Cauley


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DSCN0388Kashana Cauley’s story “New Syria” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 7, out now.

How long have you been writing?
When I was ten, I became obsessed with film noir and wrote lots of bad detective stories that
I dreamed up in black and white. I took a long break to write technical stuff and went back to
fiction about six years ago.

What’s your connection to the Midwest?
I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin and attended college there too. I lived in
Milwaukee for a while after college.

How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
My characters are mostly Midwesterners or Midwestern expats.

Why do you believe there has never really been a regionalist push for Midwestern writing in
the past like there has with the South or even the West Coast?

I disagree with the assumption this question makes. In the last twenty years, Jeffery Eugenides, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Franzen have written very good, fundamentally Midwestern books that sold well. There are plenty of people looking to read stuff that resonates like their work has. You can’t separate those guys from their Midwesternness.

How do you feel about social media to promote your writing, and do you use it?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter, and I promote my writing on them, but don’t think social media is very interesting when the user’s main goal is self-promotion. So my tweets and status updates are usually about non-writing stuff.

Favorite book?
Don’t have one—I tend to love books in groups. In the last year, I’ve become obsessed with Infinite Jest, Look at Me, Great Jones Street and Ten Thousand Saints. And all of Tana French’s books.

Favorite food?
Apple pie. I make it myself. The crust is part butter, part leaf lard. I live in an area with killer local apples.

If you could have coffee (or tea or a beer) with any literary figure, alive or dead, who would it be?
Don DeLillo.

Where can we find more information about you?
Check out my website, kashanacauley.com, or my twitter feed, @kashana_cauley.

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