Midwest in Photos: Leaving Home

August 26th, 2017

“I wish I could leave you certain of the images in my mind, because they are so beautiful that I hate to think they will be extinguished when I am. Well, but again, this life has its own mortal loveliness. And memory is not strictly mortal in its nature, either. It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all, even in its passing. A moment is such a slight thing. I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve.” – Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.

Photo by: Robert Henway

Interview: Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey author photo

Photo credit: Willy Somma.

Midwestern Gothic staffer Kathleen Janeschek talked with author Catherine Lacey about her book The Answers, constructing the ideal relationship, marbles vs. dog shit, and more.

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Kathleen Janeschek: What is your connection to the Midwest?

Catherine Lacey: A rather tenuous one. In the last couple years I’ve been traveling almost constantly, but I moved my home base to Chicago in 2016 because it’s where my partner, Jesse Ball, lives and teaches. However, I quickly whisked him off to Missoula, Montana where I was teaching for a semester. Now we’re back. So, the last year has been a rather midwestern one. We even drove through a blizzard.

KJ: Both of your novels have been set in New York City, but you live in Chicago. What inspires you to write about one city while living in another?

CL: Because book publishing takes so long, I actually wrote all of The Answers while I was living in New York, which was home for nine years. Half of the first one is set in New Zealand, which I wrote because I had been to New Zealand and wished I had never left.

KJ: Your latest novel, The Answers, centers on Mary, a woman who suffers from chronic pain. How did you approach the subject of chronic pain? What kind of research did you do?

CL: Having a body, as vulnerable as anyone’s, is enough research if you pay close enough attention. I’ve never been as ill as Mary is at the book’s opening, but I’ve had some frustrating health problems that gave me a window into what that would be like.

The Answers Catherine Lacey book cover

KJ: Another character of the novel is Kurt Sky who is attempting to create the perfect girlfriend by having a multitude of women each portray different aspects of a relationship. What inspired you to write about someone who viewed relationship in fragments?

CL: When I began writing the novel in 2013 the idea and impossibility of constructing some sort of ideal relationship was on my mind, so it came out in my work. It’s actually not clear to me whether Kurt thinks of all the women he’s hired as a “the perfect girlfriend.” He is, at least, hoping that the experiment will make discoveries that could make a “perfect” relationship possible.

KJ: Do you consider this portrayal a commentary on human connections in modern life?

CL: No.

KJ: Why did you choose to make the middle section of the novel – the part dominated by Kurt’s girlfriend experiment – third person, while keeping the opening and ending sections first person?

CL: I just had this sense that the perspective needed to shift in order for the scope of the book to function as it does now. I fumbled around with other ideas, but this is the one that took.

KJ: The Answers manages to be both an emotional narrative and a big ideas book. How do you balance plot and concepts in your writing?

CL: I honestly do not know. I’ve learned everything by accident. When I write I tend to feel like I am bushwhacking instead of following a path.

KJ: Though definitively literary fiction, The Answers has science fiction vibes. What are some of your science/speculative fiction influences?

CL: I can think of three books that influenced, directly and indirectly, this aspect of The Answers: Helen DeWitt’s Lightening Rods; Kobe Abe’s The Face of Another and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. My knowledge of real science fiction is pretty limited, though.

KJ: How has writing your second novel compared to the first? Do you think you’ve learned anything?

CL: Writing the first one sort of felt like I was wandering around blindfolded, wearing big mittens, trying to pick up marbles off the floor without slipping on them in the process. Writing the second novel…well, honestly it was pretty much the same thing except I realized halfway through it that a third of the marbles I’d picked up were actually little hardened pieces of dog shit and I had to throw them away and find more marbles. In the year and a half since I finished writing The Answers I have been working very differently, so maybe it took two novels to learn something? I don’t know if I can describe what is different now, but something is different and I’m happy about it. I’ll probably unlearn it and have to learn some other way to be.

KJ: What’s next for you?

CL: I’ll probably walk my dog and go to the bookstore. Later it will be time for dinner. The sun will go down, then come up. Then it will be time to sit and think for a while.

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Catherine Lacey is the author of the The Answers and Nobody is Ever Missing. She was a 2016 Whiting Award winner, was a finalist for the NYPL’s Young Lions Fiction Award and has earned fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Omi International Arts Center, the University of Montana. In 2017 she was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. Her work has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and French. Her first short story collection, Certain American States, will be published in 2018.

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Summer 2017 issue is here!

Just in time for the tail end of summer, we’re thrilled to announce that the Midwestern Gothic Summer 2017 issue is here!

With a beautiful cover illustration by Teagan White, we are hopelessly in love with how this issue turned out.

The Summer 2017 issue is available in paperback ($12) and eBook formats ($3.99), including Kindle, iPad, Nook, and PDF. Pick up a copy

The Summer 2017 issue contains fiction from: Phyllis Beckman, Nick Caccamo, Linnea Guerin, Robert Hinderliter, Kyle Impini, Harris Lahti, Natalie Teal McAllister, Devin O’Shea, Tanya Seale, Kali VanBaale, Michelle Webster Hein, Erika T. Wurth, and Alyssa Zaczek.

And poetry from: Kelli Bartelotti, Milton Bates, Jacquelyn Bengfort, Holly Brown, Annah Browning, Anders Carlson-Wee, Rob Cook, Yahya Frederickson, Ron Gibson, Jr., Hannah Kroonblawd, Douglas Luman, Beth Marzoni, Nicole Mason, Jen Rouse, Anthony Sutton, Heather Swan, Michael Walsh, and John Yohe.

And nonfiction from: Whit Arnold, Michael Fischer, David Franke, Caitlin Hill, RaeNosa Hudnell, and Natalie Tomlin.

Plus photography from: David McCleery, Dallas Crow, Tom Darin Liskey, and Michelle Pretorius.

Shop for the Midwestern Gothic Summer 2017 issue

Or subscribe and save up to 33%

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Contributor Spotlight: Harris Lahti

Harris Lahti author photoHarris Lahti’s story “Highways of Damage” appears in Midwestern Gothic‘s Summer 2017 issue, out now.

What’s your connection to the Midwest, and how has the region influenced your writing?

I have family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My girlfriend, out near Willmar. We visit frequently. More indirectly, my great grandfather moved there from Finland as a homesteader. Like him, my grandfather worked in the lumber trade. And my father attended graduate school at the U. So Minnesota has always been a place of intrigue for me.

The initial draft of “Highways” actually took place between upstate New York and Philadelphia. Like Minnesota, as opposed to contrary belief, upstate New York has its fair share of cornfields and cow pastures. But they’re miniature in comparison. And when I was writing the piece, I was lucky enough to attend a wedding in rural Minnesota, and experience its vast expanses of farmland and uncapped skies. Those visuals really helped break the story wide open by deepening the main character Roy’s loneliness.

What do you think is the most compelling aspect of the Midwest?

The vast spaces. I grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley, and I’m used to my horizons terminating quickly into swells of green. So to see those never-ending Minnesotan skies is a refreshing experience. All those stars! It doesn’t get any better.

How do your experiences or memories of specific places—such as where you grew up, or a place you’ve visited that you can’t get out of your head—play a role in your writing?

My writing is definitely local. I think all good writing is. Aside from “Highways,” I generally set my stories in two places: Albany and the surrounding Adirondack area. All my free time in Albany was spent skateboarding and partying, so whenever I write about Albany a manic vibration always creeps into the piece. The Adirondacks, where I grew up, not so much. Those pieces more gravitate toward loneliness and nostalgia. What I’m getting at: placing a character in either environment will conjure its own headspace based on my own experiences, with its own specific voice. Or at least this is how it occurs to me in retrospect. Who can really say.

Discuss your writing process — inspirations, ideal environments, how you deal with writer’s block.

I’m not sure if I believe in writers block. If you’re having trouble writing, in my opinion, you’re probably just not interested enough in what you’re writing about. This happens to everyone, of course. When I’m not interested, a lot of times I’ll re-write the story from scratch while swapping the POV or tense. This allows for the piece to catch the light in different ways, so to speak. Sometimes this helps move things along. Other times, not so much. At that point, it’s just a matter of believing in the piece, sticking with it, straining it through the colander of my brain until I can get at the pure thing.

How can you tell when a piece of writing is finished?

If I like the piece, I won’t let it go until it’s published. Aside from that, I have idea. Basically, when I reach my wits end. Or a teacher tells me it’s time to send it out. I can be neurotic about language, wanting everything to be perfect, but unfortunately my idea of this changes daily. Luckily, I have some amazing teachers who aren’t afraid to shoot me straight.

Who is your favorite author (fiction writer or poet), and what draws you to their work?

Right now, Fleur Jaeggy. She’s a Swiss writer whose work I’ve seen described as Champagne Gothic. MG should do an interview with her! I read her collection, Last Vanities, over and over. And I just got through I am the Brother of XX. It’s haunting stuff. Unlike anything I’ve ever read. The writing is fragmented and bizarre things will pass you by in a single breath, almost without notice. Then, later on, you’ll be staring into the refrigerator and ask yourself: So the twin brothers slept together in that story, didn’t they? Or, that woman hanged herself, huh? I like that feeling– when a story’s strangeness catches up with you. For me, that’s the gold standard.

What’s next for you?

I’m floating around a few short stories, editing a few more. I have a novel-in-stories I’m working on. All exciting things. I’m an associate editor at Juked, a reader for FENCE, and I’m about to enter my final year at Sarah Lawrence College, which has been a really amazing experience so far. I hope it never ends.

Where can we find more information about you?

I have a couple stories available online at Juked and Bull: Men’s fiction. Aside from that, I’m sad to say there’s not much else on the internet. More to come, hopefully. Thanks for this opportunity!

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Midwest in Photos: Store Window, Greenup, IL

“Because it is the Midwest, no one really glitters because no one has to, it’s more of a dull shine, like frequently used silverware.” – Charles Baxter, The Feast of Love.

Photo by: Joanna Key

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Interview: Sarah Manguso

Sarah Manguso author photoMidwestern Gothic staffer Meghan Chou talked with author Sarah Manguso about her book 300 Arguments, indulging a writing habit, finishing pieces, and more.

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Meghan Chou: What’s your connection to the Midwest?

Sarah Manguso: I went to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the nineties — my first westward traversal of the Mississippi!

MC: 300 Arguments reads like essays constructed in the form of poems with each line a parable, life lesson, or provoking thought. How did you develop this genre-blurring format?

SM: After working relatively fruitlessly on a different book, I found myself turning away from it in order to write very short pieces of prose — very short, but complete in themselves. They provided an antidote to the frustrating, enduring incompleteness of the other book, and they eventually became a different book.

300 Arguments book cover

MC: A review on NPR called 300 Arguments a “poem of quarrels,” where each line seems to fight the line before and after in an existential battle. What reaction did you hope to provoke in your readers? Did you want to start an internal “quarrel?”

SM: My definition of the word argument isn’t limited to quarrel but includes a more varied grab-bag drawn from the word’s archaic meanings: subject, theme, sign, mark, token, proof, hint, plot, declaration, evidence, burden, complaint, accusation, denouncement, betrayal. I wasn’t interested in either starting or avoiding an internal quarrel. I just wanted to finish something. Or 300 somethings.

MC: You once said to “think of [300 Arguments] as a short book composed entirely of what I hoped would be a long book’s quotable passages.” Why did you want to include only the most memorable lines?

SM: I didn’t start out wanting anything, really — I was just indulging a habit that eventually became a book. That argument you quote above was written relatively late in the project, after it was nearly done.

MC: Various authors have equated deleting lines and phrases to “kill[ing] your darlings.” For 300 Arguments, what was your editing process in order to build such a condensed book?

SM: I’ve seen this line attributed to various folks, but it’s Arthur Quiller-Couch: “If you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”

AQC instructs us to strike out our prideful flourishes, the artifacts of self-love, the passages in which we’re listening to ourselves write—to leave room for the writing itself.

I don’t think 300 Arguments even has darlings, by that definition—the sections are too short. On the other hand, maybe the entire book is just one darling after another.

MC: Which aphorism argument in 300 Arguments is your favorite?

SM: Every time I’m obliged to read from it I find that my tastes have changed, but I’m usually partial to the shortest ones.

MC: 300 Arguments addresses a wide range of key questions of the human condition from love to death and beyond. Is there a central message or evolution of ideas you want to convey?

SM: No, there is no single, central argument.

MC: What’s next for you?

SM: It’s back to work on the other book — for now, at least.

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Sarah Manguso is the author of seven books including Ongoingness, The Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay. She lives in California.

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Flash Fiction Round 3 Runner-up: “Stilwell Jr. High School, 1919” by E.B. Schnepp

Flash Fiction contest 2017 MG logo
 

During the summer of 2017 we continued our annual Flash Fiction Contest series, inviting authors to respond to three different picture prompts. You can read more about the series here. Round 3 submissions responded to our photo prompt with the following criteria: here.

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Round 3 runner-up: “Stilwell Jr. High School, 1919” by E.B. Schnepp
 

Milo talked about sliding through the air duct, but I only had an eye for the chain link fences, the fountains that kicked on by themselves, caution tape pasted over every entrance to the tunnels. Rita, stopping the elevator to write our names on its sliding lock-down panel,
                                                                                                       did you know time everywhere stops when you pause the elevator? That’s why they have to tear down the school, because nowhere should have that kind of power, because kids come here to study before math exams, because it’s more camera free than the small stairs’ corner landing, because—don’t lie to me—even you are starting to get ideas the grownups don’t want you to know you have.

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E.B. Schnepp is a poet hailing from rural Mid-Michigan who currently finds herself stranded in the flatlands of Ohio. Her work can also be found in Hypertrophic Lit, Maudlin House, and Crab Fat, among others.

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Flash Fiction Round 3 Winner: “This City Will Make Gypsies of Us All” by Dan Mancilla

Flash Fiction contest 2017 MG logo
 

During the summer of 2017 we continued our annual Flash Fiction Contest series, inviting authors to respond to three different picture prompts. You can read more about the series here. Round 3 submissions responded to our photo prompt with the following criteria: here.

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Round 3 winner: “This City Will Make Gypsies of Us All” by Dan Mancilla
 

Stosh Duda carved the gypsy girl’s initials into his desk on Thursday. Friday the school’s doors were padlocked, desks heaped on the lawn. The gypsies vanished.

Could’ve been a con, Halloween mischief, but it was only the first of October. Maybe a gypsy curse, their parting shot at us. Had we treated them so bad? Hadn’t the school opened its doors to them? They weren’t loved but weren’t run off. That’s the best anyone can hope for here.

This city will make gypsies of us all. Uncle, cousin, teacher, neighbor. Sister Mary Magdalene, who’s not a nun and not always a whore, lambed it because of delinquent parking tickets on that rusted-out van where she slept but never turned tricks. Angelo Pulaski did nine months in Gary after he couldn’t square things with Lefty Schurs over some bad luck at the dog track. He came home July 5th, the day after Lefty caught his own bad luck: a seeing-eye .38 slug. Just some jerk across the alley popping off patriotic rounds.

First of the month eviction notices Black Hawk-style. Apartments turned inside-out, fishkill rotting in the sun. Bitsy Mendez in her housecoat shouting, “Look what them sons-a-bitches done!” while corner boys buzzard-circle, swoop in, fly away. Just looking for now, giving Bitsy a chance to haul off her shit before they do. Neighborly courtesy because hard times are just times in Black Hawk. Could be them next.

It could happen, our city’s unofficial motto. The Tomahawks could crawl out of the cellar. Sweep Joliet, knock off Muskegon, make a run at 4th place. LaSalle could add another shift if someone with clout raised hell about that mooncrater foundation developers abandoned years ago, convince them to build something there with good LaSalle steel. The black-haired beauty, the gypsy girl in 3rd period Geometry, could be making eyes at Stosh Duda and not the quarterback behind him.

It could happen, so the corner boys just circle Bitsy Mendez for now estimating values of old bras, broken recliners, picture albums of long dead strangers.

Stosh couldn’t imagine there’d been rent on the school, where time was spent like a LaSalle millworker spent his paycheck Friday nights, the way Stosh’s dad used to piss away beer money, grocery money, rent money setting up rounds for the house, big man at the tavern.

What debts had Stosh incurred, what calamities set in motion when he carved the gypsy girl’s initials into his desk? In Black Hawk it’s easier to see the beginning of things and harder to see their ends. She told him winter would come early, begged him to leave with her, promised herself to him if he did. Promised to read his fortune, stroke his lifeline. But she didn’t reveal this future to him. So now Stosh holds vigil atop those desks reading their brail of carved graffiti, gnawing at their petrified chewing gum, searching for her name, hunting for her taste, yearning for her return, praying: it could happen, it could happen.

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Dan Mancilla, Ph.D. is Professor of General Education at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dan’s the author of the short story collection All the Proud Fathers (Dock Street Press) and the novella The Deathmask of El Gaucho (Passages North/Little Presque Books). His fiction has appeared in Barrelhouse, The Chicago Tribune, Monkeybicycle, The Saturday Evening Post, and River Styx, among other journals. You can read more about Dan and his work at danmancilla.com

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Midwest in Photos: The Fog

“We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.” – Henry James, The Middle Years.

Photo by: Christina Kling-Garrett

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Interview: Barbara Browning

Barbara Browning author photoMidwestern Gothic staffer Audrey Meyers talked with author Barbara Browning about her book The Gift, virtual intimacy, collaboration, and more.

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Audrey Meyers: What is your connection to the midwest?

Barbara Browning: I was born in Madison, Wisconsin. My mother was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and my father in Elyria, Ohio. My parents separated when I was six, and when I was twelve my mother, sister and I moved to Northern Virginia, but I think my early years in Wisconsin, as well as my mother’s sensibility, were pretty determinant of something in my voice as a writer.
I’ve made reference to that in each of my novels. In The Correspondence Artist, the narrator says very early on, “my own voice has a certain Midwestern flatness about it. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that.” Actually, she says that on the first page of the book. And indeed, I think by the time they get to that line, readers will already have noticed what I’m talking about. The narrator of my second novel, I’m Trying to Reach You, was different from me in some respects (among them, gender), but we had in common having been raised by a single mom from the Midwest. Barbara Andersen, the narrator of The Gift, also references the Midwest quite a bit. My own mother and sister both ended up returning to Wisconsin, and live there now. Barbara A.’s mother and sister live in Ohio.

AM: How has being a professor at NYU impacted your writing?

BB: I had to introduce myself at an academic talk the other day and I began it by saying “I have the OBSCENE pleasure of teaching in the Department of Performance Studies at NYU.” That’s not actually an exaggeration. I’d been teaching performance theory and research methodologies for some time before I began writing fiction, so unlike a lot of fiction writers, who teach as a way to support their writing practice, which comes first, I began with a desire to teach, and then developed an interest in writing fiction as a way to expand what I was able to do in thinking about the theoretical, aesthetic and political questions in the areas of performance that move me. My students are brilliant, curious, brave, weird, and constantly turning me on to new music, dance and writing. My colleagues are also very precious to me. I end up inspired by them and quite a few have made at least cameo appearances in my writing.
Higher education today is a confusing place to be if you have certain political commitments. That is, it can be a very comfortable sphere, in some ways, if you lean leftward, but in many institutions, including my own, that’s undergirded by the crushing debt incurred by many students. So I think it’s important to keep challenging that, and talking about it, and grappling for ways to address that. It’s a part of the narrative of The Gift.

AM: What inspired you to write The Gift?

BB: In the book, my narrator explains that her readings of theorists of gift economies (Marcel Mauss, Lewis Hyde, David Graeber) in the wake of the Occupy movement inspire her to try an experiment – recording little ukulele cover tunes and spamming people with them in order to possibly stimulate a gift economy of purely sentimental value. I actually did that. And it’s kind of supposed to be funny, but it was also kind of serious. The part about valuing sentimental value over monetary or even aesthetic value was, I suppose, the feminist intervention. My own experiment led to a story very similar to Barbara Andersen’s. It was exhilarating, heartbreaking, scary, and poignant.

The Gift Barbara Browning book cover

AM: What is significant about the virtual world in your book? How do you use it to explore the universal human condition?

BB: In all of my novels, the internet plays a big role – through the email correspondence of my narrator in The Correspondence Artist to the YouTube obsessions of my narrator in I’m Trying to Reach You to the swapping of digital sound and video files between my characters in The Gift. In all three cases, I actually made the digital files (and YouTube pages) that were reference in the texts. I think it’s important to acknowledge that the way we read now has changed. Even when one’s reading novels that don’t reference digital culture, we have a tendency to pause to Google something, and especially when there’s a blurry boundary between “reality” and “fiction” as there is in much of my writing, one has a tendency to want to go down certain rabbit holes. Of course, rabbit holes can be dangerous things. What I always try to encourage my students to do is to toggle between analog and digital. Your question asks about “universality,” and I’m not sure that’s exactly what I’m pointing at, although I also think that questions like the blurry boundary between reality and fiction are hardly new! Cervantes was asking the same kinds of things.

AM: It is thought-provoking that you investigate human interaction by sharing your music to no one in particular through emails. How do you express these connections through words and music rather than other sensory experiences that happen in person?

BB: Ironically, sometimes the voice recorded feels more intimate than the voice in a live conversation, say, in a café. I’m just finishing recording the audio novel version of The Gift, and I’m very self-conscious about my recorded speaking voice. The character Sami in the novel sends the narrator long recorded voice messages. Sometimes those feel even more naked or intimate than a physical encounter might. Sometimes we lose sight (or sense) of that in recorded music, because of the layering of sound or the way production can smooth out the edges – what I describe as the sound of the spit on the lips or the hairs in the nose when you listen to certain recorded voices. I think I say, “It’s almost like somebody’s sticking their tongue in your ear.” I find it interesting to acknowledge how intimate that experience can be.

AM: What did you learn about yourself as a writer when creating The Gift?

BB: Well, I think I knew this already, but this novel was the one in which I really had to confront my sense of obligation to the people in my life who end up incorporated into my fiction. That is, I always ask them to read drafts, and tell me what they’re comfortable or uncomfortable with, even if they’re not recognizable as themselves. I don’t hold that up as an ethical standard for anybody else – in fact, I don’t know of anybody who’s as obsessed with that as I am. For better or worse, it’s a compulsion.

AM: What do you hope people take away from your book?

BB: It’s funny, I had a feeling people would focus on the drama of the relationship with Sami, and the question of whether love at a distance is fulfilling, which isn’t a bad question, but isn’t really the most interesting one to me. I was hoping some of the political questions raised by the book might be of interest – and to my amazement, in fact, early readers seem to be responding to those. That is, I’d like for us, in this moment of great political anxiety and, for many of us, despair, to hold on to some hope, and maybe even utopianism.

AM: Why do you infuse music into your book? In other words, how does music relate to the purpose of your book? And how did this impact your writing style?

BB: Most of the ukulele cover tunes I mention in the narrative are archived on my SoundCloud page (https://soundcloud.com/barbarabrowning). There’s also a Vimeo page (the book has the site and the password in it) where the dance videos are archived. As in all my work, sometimes the music and dance inspires the writing, and sometimes it works in the other direction. Some readers seem to access this work, and others just want to imagine it. That doesn’t really bother me, though I’m always happy if someone told me they took a look or a listen…

AM: After creating The Gift, what does it mean to you to be an artist in the modern world?

BB: Well, I think I always thought something pretty close to Lewis Hyde’s proposition in his book, which is also called The Gift: that loving other people’s art is what makes it possible to make your own, and listening, and reading, and watching are as important and generous acts as making.

AM: To you, how is human interaction a gift?

BB: In the book, the narrator describes her relationship with her son as a “collaboration,” and I think I believe that of all deeply significant relationships – familial, erotic, sentimental. The gift is making something beautiful together, by which I don’t mean a symphony or a skit or a macaroni sculpture, but, say, a comical conversation, or a meal, or a few minutes of silent concentration over a cigarette on the balcony.

AM: What’s next for you?

BB: I have a little book in the 33 1/3 series coming out in September, and in January of 2018, my collaborator Sébastien Régnier and I are publishing a co-authored book, Who the Hell is Imre Lodbrog? We’ve been doing a series of performances about that one – one of the most recent ones is about our trip to Two Rivers, Wisconsin! So, you see, the Midwest keeps coming back…

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Barbara Browning teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She received her PhD in comparative literature from Yale University. She is the author of the novels The Correspondence Artist (winner of a Lambda Literary Award) and I’m Trying to Reach You (short-listed for the Believer Book Award). She also makes dances, poems, and ukulele cover tunes.

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