Monday, September 27, 2010

Lan Samantha Chang

Lan Samantha Chang's new book is All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost.

From her Q & A with Nicole Lee:

Nicole Lee: Your new work is a novella about a group of poets who go through a writing program together. I recall reading an interview in Willow Springs from a few years ago in which you mentioned having written a 100-page manuscript about some poets, but you put it to one side because you said you felt the story needed to have poetry in it, but you hadn’t written poetry as an adult. Did this new forthcoming novella have its roots in that manuscript?

Lan Samantha Chang: Yes. I’m now finished with the poets manuscript and it’s a short novel, All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost, which will come out from W.W. Norton this month.

What made you decide to take a second look at it—what change enabled you to return to a work you initially put to one side? How can you tell when you are ready to work on something that you put aside earlier?

The project began as a private exploration of some of my most pressing questions about teaching and art. It was so private, in fact, that I assumed I’d never publish it. It wasn’t really that a change took place, as much as a recognition that this was the project in which I was most emotionally invested. I would keep putting it aside and coming back to it. When I was given a leave of absence for a Guggenheim in 2008, I vowed to only work on it for one month, but I found the project too exciting to put down, and so I’ve been working on nothing else for the last year and a half now.

Can you tell us what originally sparked your interest in the story?

For the last few years, I’ve been teaching and directing the MFA Program at the University of Iowa. In this job, I’m surrounded by...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue