Books

A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author JP Infante

“When you’re a kid you’re not sure if you don’t know something because you haven’t been taught it or because you’re not supposed to know.”

Oct 07, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Kelsey Peterson

“I think, in pursuit of truth, science and religion still have to wrestle with the strictures of human knowledge, error, pride.”

Oct 02, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Jade Jones

“The narration style feels very conversational to me. I liked how second-person really tries to make the reader part of the story as well.”

Sep 30, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Sarah Curry

“I slowly connected the dots that nearly all my friends—no matter what continent we had been on—had experienced some level of sexual violence.”

Sep 27, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Tamiko Beyer

“The themes of social justice, the magic of water, and the power of queer love to create a different world—these are themes that I return to again and again in my writing and my life.”

Sep 25, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Doug Henderson

“Some stories just flow out of you and you try to keep up as you write them. This story was not like that.”

Aug 28, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Laura Freudig

“When you feel like you have no power in a relationship, withholding becomes one of the only ways you can maintain the illusion of agency.”

Aug 26, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Erin Singer

“Inspiration came from the stupid pencil jar our family had when I was growing up.”

Aug 22, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author Pingmei Lan

“It started with a voice—the young narrator telling me about her name.”

Aug 15, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 Author A.B. Young

“For me, I guess fairytales are where I am simultaneously most at home, and most at odds with the world around me.”

Aug 13, 2019
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Maud Streep

“You can fall in love with a place in a way that’s just as made-up and selective as how you fall in love with a person.”

Oct 16, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Ernie Wang

“I feel any person who has to deal with losing the one person who is their world has every right to do whatever it takes to self-preserve, even when that includes deflection and denial.”

Oct 09, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Alex Terrell

“I have always been fascinated by the idea of women being monstrous and beastly because it ruptures the dominant Patriarchal ideal of the shy woman.”

Sep 14, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Lin King

“I wanted to address old-age sexuality, which is in general completely unmentioned in Taiwanese society.”

Sep 12, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Elinam Agbo

“I love that our stories are beginning to get the attention they deserve, but that’s not enough for me. I want more.”

Sep 05, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Megan Tucker

“The idea here is the casual way children can accept and parrot this kind of simple, black-and-white math about worth. So much so that in a pinch they are willing write off their own mother!”

Aug 31, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Cristina Fríes

“I thought this exemplified two aspects of the Colombian spirit that interest and delight me: Any festive occasion can become an excuse to start a full-on party; and time is, as a manner of speaking, subjective.”

Aug 29, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Drew McCutchen

“I like melancholy and characters with weighty histories. I fell in love with Daniel. But I fall in love with all my characters.”

Aug 24, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Lauren Friedlander

“I started thinking about immoral women, women who are not merely complicit counterparts to A Bad Man but active participants in cruelty.”

Aug 22, 2018
A Conversation With PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2018 Author Grayson Morley

“When writing this story, I was thinking explicitly about a tendency in players to play games as murderous kleptomaniacs.”

Aug 17, 2018