Sunday, January 4, 2015

BOMB: The Author Interviews

Who better to ask a writer about writing than another writer? For more than 30 years, BOMB, a magazine of essays, literature and visual portfolios, has been publishing in-depth interviews with artists conducted by artists of all disciplines. In BOMB: The Author Interviews, publisher and editor Betsy Sussler collects 35 of the best conversations between influential and intellectual authors of world literature.

The Q&As are intimate and delve into aspects of the writer's craft, including the importance of sentences, rhythm and pacing, creating characters, narrative shaping, literary influences, editing and revision, the publishing industry and the demands of the writer's life amid more mundane concerns. They are intimate and give rare insight into the creative processes, feelings and work habits of contemporary prose writers and poets such as Sam Lipsyte, Steven Millhauser, Courtney Eldridge, Amy Hempel, Tobias Wolff and Jeffrey Eugenides. Each conversation differs in topic and tone. Clipped, clever banter infuses the exchange between Kathy Acker and Mark Magill, while a host of the Q&As convey mutual admiration, as evidenced when Junot Díaz and Edwidge Danticat discuss their ancestry and what it's like to be "book obsessed."

Articulating the complexity of the craft, the challenges of the writing life and the impetus behind certain works sometimes proves difficult, but each dialogue sheds light onto the act of writing itself and the profound satisfaction in having created something lasting on the page. Such revelations are bound to be helpful and insightful to readers and other writers intrigued and mystified by the process.

Bomb: The Author Interviews by Bomb Magazine; Betsy Sussler, ed.
Soho Press, $40.00 Hardcover, 9781616953799, 480 pp
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
To order this book via INDIEBOUND link HERE

Note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (11/3/14), click HERE

This review was also featured (in a much longer form) on Shelf Awareness: Book Trade (11/3/14). To read the longer review click HERE