November 6, 2015

The alien invasion by UFO is a longstanding metaphor for illegal immigration, and the alien’s destruction through violence is justified primarily because of their “thingness.”

October 19, 2015

If you’re willing to sacrifice everything, and you still fail or fall short... how do you keep living, knowing you’re not going to be enough?

October 4, 2015

Often as I work I am visited and haunted by a diaspora of memory. My entire body is a camera, an aperture.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Sofi

September 6, 2015

It’s much easier to write a villain. To make a nice person feel alive—well, that’s hard. That was a big challenge for [Arcadia].

August 22, 2015

Everyone is influenced by their surroundings, their family, their time, their culture. Then again, writing is very personal and has an element which is about standing aside from your time and place and speaking to the human condition and going for something a little more universal… so I’ve found soul brothers in far away places, living and dead.
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August 18, 2015

I write from a place of curiosity and confusion, to ask questions and go searching for something via narratives and new worlds that I’m very aware I may never find. My ambition is to keep that feeling.

August 13, 2015

There is so much to be gained from wrestling with foreign words and sentence structure, and discovering the cultural concepts behind the words. Even the attempt is important, especially now when so much in our culture says words dont matter, hurry up, just put something down.

Photo credit: Alan Caras

August 13, 2015

In the end, though, I’m not sure presenting the facts is the most important work that fiction can do; in a lot of ways I think a novelist’s job is to give the reader the capacity to empathize with people whose experiences are vastly different from his/her own—and those feelings are a kind of experiential truth that you wouldn’t get from a newspaper article or history text.

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June 18, 2015

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Stephen O’Connor is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, the author of four books, a professor of creative writing at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and a husband and father. His short stories “Con” and “Double Life” appear in Issues 07 and 03 respectively of The Common. His new novel, Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, is forthcoming from Viking-Penguin. Melody Nixon talked with OConnor this month while she was in Norway and he in London. They both endured the rainiest of European springs and the crackling of Skype to talk dreams, the unconscious, and the right/ability of white writers to write across identity lines.

May 5, 2015

A.L. Kennedy was born in Dundee, Scotland. She is the author of 15 books: six novels, six short story collections, and three works of nonfiction. She is a fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Society of Literature. She writes for publications in the UK and overseas and has a blog with The Guardian Online. In addition to author, she is a dramatist for the stage, radio, TV, and film, and a standup comedian. Her new book All The Rage—a collection of short stories—was published by Little A Books in spring 2014. Marni Berger and A.L. spoke about the culture of humor, constructing the landscapes of characters’ minds, and what it means to “write to please.”

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