All Interviews

Our Reading Habits Are Changing: An Interview with Arifa Akbar

by Houman Barekat

Back in August, The Bookseller magazine reported that the publisher Unbound would be launching a new online literary journal under the stewardship of Arifa Akbar, the former literary editor of The Independent. The launch of the publication, which will be called Boundless, is now just a few weeks away. I talked to Arifa about her plans for the publication, and the burgeoning domain of online literary criticism in general. [read full interview]

Hesitations and Corrections: An Interview with Garth Greenwell

by James Pulford

When it was published last year, Garth Greenwell’s debut novel What Belongs To You was heralded as a masterpiece and an instant classic on both sides of the Atlantic. Deftly depicting the stickiness of shame, desire and guilt, the novel tells the story of a young American teacher who falls for a Bulgarian hustler while living in Sofia and, subsequently, his struggle to reconcile the mixture of longing and anguish he feels as a result of their relationship. In addition to recently winning Debut Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, What Belongs To You has also been shortlisted for both the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction and the Green Carnation Prize. In this interview we talked about the role of fiction today; alt-facts and the Trump administration; the policing of LGBT lives; and the notion of literature as a conversation across time. [read full interview]

No One Gets Out Alive: An Interview with Joanna Walsh

by Thea Hawlin

Dubbed by Deborah Levy as ‘fast becoming one of our most important writers,’ Joanna Walsh is the award-winning author of Hotel (Bloomsbury, 2015) and Vertigo (And Other Stories, 2016). I spoke with her on the launch day of her debut digital book, Seed, a novella that blooms, wilts, and grows as you read it. [read full interview]

‘How to Endure’: An Interview with Simon Critchley

by Marc Farrant

In an increasingly violent world, Simon Critchley’s study of suicide underlines the difficulty of attempting to inhabit the mental space of those who choose to take their own lives, where ‘reason runs headlong into one last, long tunnel with no exit.’ To confront head-on this perverse rationality, ‘to meet darkness in the darkness,’ in the winter of 2014 Critchley took up residence in a hotel room with a sea-view in Aldeburgh, on the North Sea coast of Suffolk, England, and wrote. The resulting book, Notes on Suicide, is both an exercise in philosophical exposition and a movingly intimate engagement with an intractably personal issue. In this interview we discussed a range of issues related to suicide, including the religious and psychiatric discourses around it and its consequent framing in our moral imagination. [read full interview]

Concept and Form: An Interview With Sophie Collins

by Charles Whalley

Sophie Collins, along with Rachael Allen, is co-founder and editor of tender, ‘an online quarterly promoting work by female-identified writers and artists,’ which, since its appearance last year, has published work by Emily Berry, Carina Finn, Lavinia Greenlaw and Emily Toder, among others. She is currently carrying out research on poetry and translation at Queen’s University Belfast, and her poems, translations and other writings have been published in Poetry, Poetry Review, Poetry London, The White Review and elsewhere. [read full interview]

Ponzi Scheme Capitalism: An Interview with David Harvey

by Steffen Böhm

David Harvey’s work on political economy, urbanism and the legacy and ongoing theoretical interpretation of Karl Marx has been at the forefront of critical debate across the humanities and social sciences since the 1970s. In Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, recently published by Profile Books, the pre-eminent economist and thinker provides an incisive guide to the world around us, and a manifesto for change. In this interview, Harvey discusses the significance and centrality of the theory of political economy to understanding the post-2008 landscape; he also considers the transformation of the meaning of labour, digital technologies, rentier capitalism and emergent spaces of hope and promise. [read full interview]

One’s Twenties Aren’t Easy: An Interview with Rosa Rankin-Gee

by Michael Duffy

In her exciting debut novel, The Last Kings of Sark, Rosa Rankin-Gee successfully evokes the image of life on a small island as a constant negotiation with the past. The narrator, Jude, wants her summer narrative to begin with leaves, light and sun-kissed beaches; instead, it opens in the cockpit of a private plane hired by her father, merchant banker Eddy Defoe, to supply his family with frozen meat and expensive French mineral water. The novel follows the characters through a tense summer on the titular channel island, and into their later lives of labour and love in France. [read full interview]

The Wonder of Living: An Interview with Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi

by Andrew Marzoni

In August 2013, Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi published Inventing Peace: A Dialogue on Perception, a collaborative book which documents years of correspondence and conversation about peace — an attempt at what Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, to whom the book is dedicated, refers to as a ‘genuine dialogue.’ Wenders and Zournazi draw on works of philosophy, literature, visual art, and cinema to consider how peace may be achieved through a change in human perception, and how new media technologies – the agents of perception – can be used to heal a world overcome by violence and war, ego and illusion. [read full interview]

Poetry as Product: An Interview with Sam Riviere

by Sam Buchan-Watts

Sam Riviere’s first book of poetry, 81 Austerities, won the Felix Dennis Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A new pamphlet, Standard Twin Fantasy, appeared recently from Egg Box Publishing, as part of their f.u.n.e.x series. It comprises seven pairs of poems, some of which were commissioned by AnOther magazine in 2012 to 'introduce' a set of fashion stories. Praised by the Guardian for its 'caustic glamour' and 'stylised paranoia', the pamphlet picks up where 81 Austerities left off, with its frenetic distrust of connection in a digital age of consumer capitalism. We spoke about eclipsing sources, pamphlets, notions of 'properness', and the aura that poems retain after they're reproduced. [read full interview]

Imitation Modernism: An Interview with Perry Meisel

by Katie Da Cunha Lewin

Perry Meisel is a professor of English at New York University. He has written and lectured for over 40 years and is a prominent thinker in critical theory. Primarily researching structuralism, his work tackles a disparate range of subjects, from pop culture and Henry James, to rock & roll and the popular television show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. His most recent book is The Myth of Popular Culture: From Dante to Dylan. [read full interview]