“Madonna Was My Sex-Ed Teacher”: A Conversation with R/B Mertz

AUGUST 25, 2022 NOTHING WARMS THE HEART of my inner child more than reading accounts like R/B Mertz’s memoir Burning Butch, which highlights a queer childhood. Mertz grew up homeschooled in a cultlike Catholic atmosphere while I grew up a reformed Jew, but despite these differences, we both carried a feeling of otherness that made … Read more

“All Fiction Is Intellectually Autobiographical”: A Conversation with Jared Marcel Pollen

JULY 29, 2022 IN VENUS&DOCUMENTJared Marcel Pollen’s first novel and second book of fiction following the story collection The Unified Field of Loneliness (2019), a New York-based writer, Paul Kenning, attempts to sum up the mood of his times through the decaying medium of print journalism. Paul’s editor, Bill Morning, is dying — a neat … Read more

On a Skeleton in the Smithsonian: A Conversation with Geraldine Brooks

JULY 24, 2022 Horse, THE LATEST NOVEL by Geraldine Brooks, begins in present-day Washington, DC, with Theo, a Nigerian American graduate student, pulling an old, beaten-up painting out of his neighbor’s trash. The canvas turns out to be one of the few existing images of the greatest racing stallion in American history, Lexington. As Theo … Read more

The Paris Review – Stealing It Back: A Conversation with Frida Orupabo

Frida Orupabo, Last Night’s Party2020. Courtesy of the artist. Frida Orupabo, an artist and former social worker, was born in 1986 in Sarpsborg, Norway. Like most millennials, she can remember a life without the internet—she bought her first computer when she began attending the University of Oslo, but still didn’t have access to Wi-Fi. She … Read more

A Conversation with Tim Kasher

ON CURSIVE’S 2003 groundbreaking album, The Ugly Organ, a twentysomething Tim Kasher called out the contrived and formulaic songwriting dominating the music scene. In “Art Is Hard,” he mocked bands who sacrificed creativity for profit, who “[k]eep churning out those hits / till it’s all the same old shit.” Looking back, one might say that … Read more