Six Questions

Six Questions — July 1, 2014, 2:02 pm

Christopher Beha on Arts and Entertainments

Christopher Beha discusses sex tapes as literary vehicle, the celebrity impulse, and the problematic absence of religion in American literature

Christopher Beha © Ira Lipkke

Six Questions — June 30, 2014, 11:00 am

Jeff Sharlet on Radiant Truths

Jeff Sharlet on his collection of essential dispatches, reports, confessions, and other essays on American belief

Jeff Sharlet

Six Questions — June 23, 2014, 8:00 am

Rivka Galchen on American Innovations: Stories

The characters in Rivka Galchen’s new collection, American Innovations, are as surprised and confused by time travel, mysterious growths, and encounters with the dead as they are by being unemployed, getting divorced, and falling in love. In “Once an Empire,” which was published in the February 2010 issue of Harper’s Magazine, a woman arrives home to find her furniture climbing down the fire escape. Other stories revisit such classics as Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and Borges’s “The Aleph,” but consider them all from the perspectives of women. In each story, Galchen creates a world at once recognizable but disturbed, uncertain …

Rivka Galchen © Sandy Tait

No Comment, Six Questions — June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

Mark Denbeaux © Sean Sime

Heart of Empire, Six Questions — May 6, 2014, 2:37 pm

Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

Gareth Porter on the true history of Iran’s nuclear program

Gareth Porter. Photograph by Mike Chiaverina

Six Questions — March 28, 2014, 1:05 pm

The Empathy Exams: Essays

Leslie Jamison on empathy in craft and in life

Leslie Jamison © Colleen Kinder

Six Questions — March 19, 2014, 6:29 pm

The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew

Alan Lightman on the theory of everything, technology as mediator of human experience, and empathizing with the religious impulse

Alan Lightman © Michael Lionstar

Six Questions — February 26, 2014, 1:40 pm

Demon Camp: A Soldier’s Exorcism

Jennifer Percy on lyricism in nonfiction, the demons of American veterans, and circumventing expected narratives of PTSD

Jennifer Percy © James Westman

Six Questions — December 4, 2013, 8:00 am

At Night We Walk in Circles

Daniel Alarcón on the actor as character, foreshadowing as bravado, and the visceral nature of curiosity

Daniel Alarcón © Adrian Kinloch

Six Questions — November 11, 2013, 8:00 am

Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II

Wil S. Hylton on grief, narrative, and the difficulty of recovering a sunken past

Wil Hylton © Chris Hartlove

Six Questions — November 5, 2013, 1:29 pm

The Disaster Artist

Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell on life inside The Room, the greatest bad movie ever made

Greg Sestero

Six Questions — October 28, 2013, 8:00 am

A Beautiful Truth

Colin McAdam on ape life, loneliness, and the purpose of language

Colin McAdam © Suzanne Hancock

Six Questions — October 17, 2013, 8:00 am

The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem

Jeremy Dauber on the remarkable life and afterlife of the man who created Tevye the Dairyman

Jeremy Dauber © Marion Ettlinger

Six Questions — October 7, 2013, 8:00 am

The Pure Gold Baby

Dame Margaret Drabble on the essayistic voice in fiction and North London anthropology

Margaret Drabble. Photograph © Ruth Corney

Six Questions — October 2, 2013, 8:00 am

High Rise Stories

Audrey Petty on the history of Chicago public housing, the intimacy of oral histories, and reconstructing demolished communities

Audrey Petty. © Sophia Nahli Allison

Six Questions — September 24, 2013, 8:00 am

The Once and Future World: Nature As it Was, As it Is, As it Could Be

J. B. MacKinnon on human efforts to engineer nature, and whether we can restore what we’ve lost

J. B. MacKinnon

Six Questions — August 8, 2013, 12:40 pm

The Faraway Nearby and Unfathomable City

Rebecca Solnit on how personal stories can fail to satisfy, the architectural space of the book, and the pleasures with which the landscapes of our lives are salted

Rebecca Solnit. © Sallie Dean Shatz

Six Questions — August 2, 2013, 8:00 am

Byzantium: Stories

Ben Stroud on getting to know a character, the balance between research and imagination, and the writer’s desire for recognition

Ben Stroud. © Bering Photography

Six Questions — July 30, 2013, 1:09 pm

A Marker to Measure Drift

Alexander Maksik on Charles Taylor’s Liberia, the oldest story in the world, and the trouble with elegant variation

Alexander Maksik. © Martina Bacigalupo

Six Questions — July 30, 2013, 7:55 am

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

Mike Paterniti on the power of cheese, the pleasures of digression, and the War of the Roses method of book writing

Mike Paterniti. © Joanna Eldredge Morrissey

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