Vijay Prashad: The View from the Other Side

Interview excerpted from Jadaliyya:

The Poorer Nations finishes for me the project of telling the history of the contemporary world (the past hundred years) from the standpoint of the South. The perspective of these two books is that of the South—its investments and its contradictions, of course in terms of its relationship with the rest of the world and itself. It is not the view from Washington or Moscow, London or Tokyo—it is the view from the other side, as it were. I wanted to do this as a counter to the kind of global histories being produced, whose globality masks the Northern perspective and interests of much of this history-writing

Read the full here.

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Eleanor Stanford: the Clarity of Memory

Excerpt from Superstition Review:

I needed clarity, and the only way I knew to seek clarity was to write.

***

Maybe it wasn’t clarity that I needed, though. Maybe it was simply to tell my story, dust-obscured, deep-throated wail that it was. What I’d wanted all along was to put the island where I’d lived for two years on a common map.

For the full, read here.

Amy Boesky: The Ghost Writes Back

Excerpt from the Kenyon Review:

Your task, my thesis advisor in Oxford told my tutorial partner and me, is to be original. Your thesis won’t pass otherwise.I haunted the bookshops, certain my argument had already been written. Afraid to ask him: is original the same thing as different? As important, or relevant, or even good?

***

How did I know that every word I ghost wrote wasn’t depleting my creative arsenal? What if you’re only born with so many words, and you use up the ones you’ve been allotted on writing somebody else’s stories? Then what?

For the full, read here.

Tanaya Winder: The Process of Honesty

Excerpt from Letters From A Young Poet:

We are so used to creating characters or writing scenarios, calling it like we see it, that this conditioned honesty can often come back to bite us.

***

I used to think that was perhaps the best writing and never believed my instructor’s when they spoke about the importance of psychic distance. Sure it made sense mentally and intellectually but emotionally it didn’t feel right. It is only now that it makes sense – the process of processing.

For the full, read here.

Mathew Henderson: Poems about Brute Labor

Excerpt from the New York Times Books:

Mr. Henderson’s poems are about brute labor, about “pushing a pipe down a hole/that wants to push you back.” He’s a close observer of this work, but he’s an even closer observer of the social landscape that surrounds it.

***

There’s an awareness in these poems that no matter what you witness, “under no circumstances should you contact the labor board.” And there is this lesson: “A few months from now, when a new guy shows up, way greener/than you, do what it takes to make him look as stupid as you can.”

Read the full here.

Josh Magill on Learning to Be a Writer

Excerpt from Beyond the Margins:

My professor was trying to teach me that all writing was hard work—complete with difficult thinking and research—and was not something to take for granted.

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I must understand that success often comes slowly as well, not instantly or without hard work and some rejection. Did I truly know how to write a story? Did I understand that opening up to my writing fears was the only way to access the good stuff inside?

Read the full here.

Jess Walter on Planning a Novel

Interview excerpt from The Daily Beast:

I don’t really separate the writing from the planning, as I’m doing it. Sentences lead to other sentences, characters grow, events happen. My only trick is to switch to some other project when one gets stuck. And they always get stuck. Without sounding overly sentimental about the process, I’d say trying to describe how you tend to conceive of a book is like describing how you tend to fall in love.

Read the full here.