NOTEBOOK FEATURE

P1040785

Web Exclusive Interview: Rose Gowen

July’s web exclusive story, “The Sun and the Pacific, Flowers,” is both a beautiful meditation on the passage of time and a careful, close look at a young person’s anxiety that she’s not doing or being quite enough. Writer Rose Gowen’s images and sensory details are stunning; the story is brimming over with oleander and hibiscus, rosemary, agave, palms, and citrus trees. The smells and sounds of the Santa Barbara coast abound here, as does the sense that, for all of that beauty and bounty, danger remains. From the bank-robbing neighbors next door to the slick tiles of the rain-soaked downtown, Gowen provides a tempering undercurrent that makes this little story so much more than a pretty still life.

P1040785

Web Exclusive Interview: Rose Gowen

July’s web exclusive story, “The Sun and the Pacific, Flowers,” is both a beautiful meditation on the passage of time and a careful, close look at a young person’s anxiety that she’s not doing or being quite enough. Writer Rose Gowen’s images and sensory details are stunning; the story is brimming over with oleander and hibiscus, rosemary, agave, palms, and citrus trees. The smells and sounds of the Santa Barbara coast abound here, as does the sense that, for all of that beauty and bounty, danger remains. From the bank-robbing neighbors next door to the slick tiles of the rain-soaked downtown, Gowen provides a tempering undercurrent that makes this little story so much more than a pretty still life.

JanEllison_SQ

Every Notebook, Photograph, and Letter: An Interview with Jan Ellison

Jan Ellison’s debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, came out in paperback this spring. The book takes readers across decades and continents—from Berkeley to London and back again—to show us what happens to a happily married mother of three when the mistakes and youthful transgressions of years past unexpectedly turn up to meddle with the present. As with her O. Henry Prize-winning story, “The Company of Men,” Ellison demonstrates her ability to render without apology the not-so-nice sides of her characters, the imperfections and doubts that make them so recognizably human. We reached out to Ellison to talk to her about writing, unreliable narrators, and the term “literary suspense.”  […]

Bourbon and Milk train post

Bourbon and Milk: Slow but Steady-ish

I confess, I get a little impatient when I hear graduate students with teaching assistantships—that is, students who not only aren’t paying tuition but who are being paid—say they don’t have time to write. Which is not to say that I didn’t feel exactly the same way when I was a graduate student with a teaching assistantship. But what I want to tell them now is, if they’ll only be able to write once they finish their coursework and their (underpaid) teaching, if they think that then there will be a long stretch of days with countless hours without personal or professional responsibility and a mysterious but sufficient income, they might as well stop dreaming now. […]

PridePostFeature

Pride Is Every Month: A Short Reading List from Our Editors

In 2016, there’s something almost anachronistic about creating a list of your favorite LGBTQ books. What kinds of books might qualify for such a list? Must the author identify as gay, bi, lesbian, trans, asexual or agender to be included? In putting together such a list, don’t you run the risk of unintentionally ghettoizing “LGBTQ books” and further marginalizing authors? These are questions our editors and staff asked ourselves as we set out to celebrate Pride month by building a list of book recommendations by and about LGBTQ people. […]

Whitney Terrell_SQ

Seeing Backward: An Interview with Whitney Terrell

In the novels The Huntsman and The King of Kings County, Whitney Terrell tackled politically charged problems like housing segregation and institutional racism. Both novels are set in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo., the near epicenter of the United State where these issues have erupted on a national stage. Terrell’s third novel, The Good Lieutenant, features a protagonist from the same landscape, Emma Fowler, who attempts to escape it […]

ASF Reads