Thursday, January 30, 2014

Karen Brown

Karen Brown is the author of Little Sinners and Other Stories, which was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly, and Pins and Needles: Stories, which was the recipient of AWP’s Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her latest novel is The Longings of Wayward Girls.

From Brown's 2013 Q & A at The Kenyon Review:

Which non-writing-related aspect of your life most influences your writing?

I suspect that most writers would agree that there isn’t a part of their life that is non-writing-related. Everyone we meet, everywhere we go, and everything we participate in become part of the material we draw on for stories. For me setting plays such an important role, so visiting a new place—an old house, a neighborhood, an island in the Caribbean, or even hearing about a place from someone—seems to influence my writing the most. As I was writing “The Authoress” I was reading about the old resorts in Moodus, Connecticut. These lodges and camps were great country getaways during the early part of the twentieth century—some are still in operation today. Like the Catskill resorts they offered private cottages, swimming, activities, and colorful staff members in charge of entertainment. I read about one that was recently abandoned, and the images of the swimming pool grown through with weeds, the still furnished cottages succumbing to moisture and the encroaching woods, were haunting. I never did work the abandoned resort into the story—but I liked the idea of it lurking in the background, and I imagine if I decide to expand the story into something more it will play a much bigger part.

Of all the things you could be doing, why do you write?

Writing was an extension of...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Karen Brown's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Karen Brown.

The Page 69 Test: The Longings of Wayward Girls.

--Marshal Zeringue