The Millions Interview

February 25, 2013

Literature as Self-Defense: An Interview with James Lasdun 2

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In 2003, Lasdun taught a course in creative writing at a college in New York. His most gifted student was an Iranian-born woman in her early 30s. They emailed back and forth, and an online friendship began to develop. The book is an exploration of the effects of this relationship turning sour. Give Me Everything You Have is a harrowing account of what it’s like to have someone expend a great deal of time and energy on the project of damaging your life for no immediately obvious reason.

February 14, 2013

The Most Monstrous Version of Yourself: The Millions Interviews Karen Russell 7

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I think there is something fascinating about the wickedness that boys get up to in groups. I used to take these groups of high school students abroad, and I swear to god, the boys individually would be beyond sweet, but collectively they would transform and posses this evil energy.

February 5, 2013

An Alternate Universe of Pop Culture: A Conversation with Teddy Wayne, Author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine 2

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The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is a coming-of-age novel about a tween singer in the vein of Justin Bieber. Once again, Teddy Wayne examines the role pop culture plays in our lives. Who creates it? Who benefits from it? What is its effect on us?

February 4, 2013

The Millions Conversation: Mark O’Connell on Viral Celebrity, Internet Weirdness, and the Phenomenon of the Epic Fail 3

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I do seem to be preoccupied by Internet weirdness. But who isn’t fascinated by that stuff, really? (The answer to that rhetorical question is actually, no doubt, lots of normal people.)

January 31, 2013

Getting Away with Murder: The Millions Interviews Ursula K. Le Guin 11

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I think to admit despair and to revel in it — as many 20th- and 21st-century writers do — is an easy way out.

January 24, 2013

Topographies of Desire: The Millions Interviews Megan Kaminski 2

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One of my good friends is a very successful novelist. I was with her when she was approached by another (male) writer who was attempting to deride her work: “Aren’t all your books about the same thing?” My friend asked him what he meant by that. He replied without missing a beat — “Well, aren’t they all about women?”

January 11, 2013

Graffiti and Glory Days: The Millions Interviews Adam Mansbach 5

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The “War on Graffiti” presaged and ushered in zero tolerance policy, prejudicial gang databases, quality of life offenses, epic incarceration — the whole way a generation has experienced law enforcement and personal freedom.

November 8, 2012

The History of Humans is the History of Technology: The Millions Interviews Robin Sloan 10

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For me, the iPhone had become a toxic compulsion. It had completed its invasion and occupation of my interstitial time — all those minutes riding the train, waiting in line, that used to be such fertile territory for daydreaming and storymaking.

November 6, 2012

Addicted to Weird: An Interview with Jon Ronson 2

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Everybody in the book feels in some way as if they’re lost at sea, and are grasping for something to get them through. And the thing that they often grasp for is something that’s kind of irrational, makes no sense, is ridiculous. And it becomes almost a celebration of irrationality as a human character trait to be cherished.

October 31, 2012

Only Real Cultures Deserve Monuments: Joshua Cohen on the Internet Era 5

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“I had in mind a book that was going to sit on a shelf, lie playing dead across the shelf and depress you for failing it.”