Literary Style

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Ghosts of History: An Interview with Jesmyn Ward by Louis Elliott
Jesmyn Ward Banner

Congratulations to Ward on winning the 2017 National Book Award for Sing, Unburied, Sing.

Hari Kunzru and Sjón
Hari Kunzru And Sjon

Ghost stories, paganism, the blues, and silent cinema are just some of the fixations of two authors known for novels steeped in history.

Lee Clay Johnson by Jay Varner
395660634 06092016 Lee Clay Johnson 02

“I think violence is inherited, it’s taught, and some of the characters are born into bad blood. …The characters are raped and so is the land.”

Rebecca Makkai by J.T. Price
Rebecca Makkai Bomb 1

“People love to underrate plot, because it makes them sound like they’re beyond it, like plot is best left to Danielle Steele.“

Scott Cheshire by Ryan Chapman
Scott Cheshire 1

“Post-love, post-work, post-faith, post-home. What’s left?”

Craft Talk Nobody Asked For by Justin Taylor
Albert Henry Arden

One of my favorite books of short fiction from the last few years is Sam Lipsyte’s The Fun Parts. I often assign stories from it in my workshops and have been waiting for an opportunity to teach the whole collection. 

David Winters by Andrew Gallix
David Winters 01

“It seems to me that style becomes a kind of crucible—an acid bath in which the self is broken down, producing something unique, something new.”

Paper Clip #25 by Tyler Curtis
1143 Sfinksi4040 Body

Paper Clip is a weekly compilation of online articles, artifacts and other—old, new, and sometimes BOMB-related.

Rachel Kushner by Hari Kunzru
Kushner 01

I first met Rachel Kushner in Toronto McCarren airport in, I think, 2007. We were both there for the International Festival of Authors (IFOA). I’d just spent several hours in US immigration detention (the asshole border guard had opined that I “didn’t deserve” my visa) and I was heartily pissed off at missing a flight to New York. 

Clark Coolidge’s A Book Beginning What and Ending Away by Wendy Lotterman
Clark Coolidge 01

Twenty chapters of poetry compose Clark Coolidge’s Gesamtkunstwerk, the division between each a shoddy dam allowing themes to spill back and forth—geology, Zukofsky, Dalí. 

Wayne Koestenbaum by Kenneth Goldsmith
I Pose Problems Body

“I couldn’t have gone to Woodstock because I’m not fit to be a nudist.”

Translating Raymond Roussel by Mark Ford & Mark Polizzotti
Roussel 1

The linguistic contortions in Roussel’s work have influenced artists and writers from Duchamp to Foucault to Ashbery. Two recent translators of Roussel discuss his outlandish creations.

Lit Crawl NYC: Suzanne Russo by Alec Meacham
Lit Crawl

The Lit Crawl NYC festival, sponsored by BOMB, takes place this Saturday, September 10th. The festival’s co-founder and director, Suzanne Russo, chatted with us briefly about the weekend’s exciting events.

Jim Shepard by Christie Hodgen
Jim Shepard

In the ambitious stories in Shepard’s latest collection, You Think That’s Bad, psychological insight is derived from the characters’ exposure to extreme duress. Shepard discusses his short stories with fiction writer Christie Hodgen.

Thomas Pletzinger by Sufjan Stevens
Thomas Pletzinger 1

Writer Thomas Pletzinger and New York-musician Sufjan Stevens on life on the road, their favorite brooklyn haunts, and Pletzinger’s novel Funeral for a Dog.

The Revised Life: Gordon Lish by B.C. Edwards
Lish1 Body

Gordon Lish has loomed large in the background of the American short story for nearly half a century. His recent Collected Fictions provides a re-affirmation of his incredible influence on a form he so clearly treasures. B.C. Edwards spoke with Lish over the phone about revision, reduction and the silence that precedes reading.

The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945–85 by Mac Wellman
Article 3552 Theater

Kevin Killian and David Brazil have done a great service in their new Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945–85. The selection is wide-ranging, eclectic, and generally highly intelligent. 

Anthony Tognazzi’s I Carry a Hammer in My Pocket for Occasions Such as These by Nicole Steinberg
Tognazzini

Wending my way through the stories in Anthony Tognazzini’s debut collection, I felt as if I were in an old cartoon, where zippers in thin air open compact universes, each with its own atmosphere. 

Percival Everett by Rone Shavers
Everett 01 Body
Steven Millhauser by Jim Shepard

I first met Steven Millhauser some 16 years ago, when, with my friend Ed Hirsch along as a somewhat disinterested coconspirator, I induced Steven to meet us at the Russian Tea Room.

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