Monday, May 4, 2009

Kyle Minor

Jedidiah Ayres interviewed Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil's Territory, a collection of short fiction, and co-editor of The Other Chekhov.

A brief excerpt from the Q & A:

Recently you took part in a panel on Postevangelical Literature and said you hadn’t heard a definition of the term yet. Any luck since?

I’ve heard plenty of definitions, and they don’t interest me much. I did the panel because my friend Scott Kaukonen (Ordination) had invited three other writers whose work is real, gritty, and true: Pinckney Benedict (Town Smokes), Angela Pneuman (Home Remedies), and David McGlynn (The End of the Straight and Narrow). The five of us have plenty of differences – aesthetic, temperamental, political, religious, commercial – but what we have in common is that we’ve decided it is brave and important to write about religion and religious people as forthrightly as the great Catholic writers (Andre Dubus, J. F. Powers, Graham Greene, Erin McGraw, etc.) have done before us, even though it runs us the risk of alienating, on the one hand, religious readers who don’t like it when people acknowledge how they are capable of pettiness and cruelty to match their generosity and goodness, and, on the other hand, literary readers of a particularly anti-religious bent who would just as soon have literature pretend that we don’t live in a country in which religion is a defining force for at least half the population, on account of some notion that talk about religion or religious people is bound to be vulgar, unsophisticated, unseemly. I guess it can be all those things, but those, anyway, are things literature is always involved in, when it’s doing its job. We ought to be writing about human trouble, not fantasizing about worlds of aesthetic and ideological purity.

Your voice sounds like it comes from experience, and not merely as a writer looking in. Just what is your fascination with evangelical culture?

I was raised Southern Baptist, spent fourteen years preschool to high school at an extreme fundamentalist high school where I was taught by graduates of places like Bob Jones University and Pensacola Christian College, went off to college planning to become a pastor, briefly became a pastor, rejected the role because...[read on]
See what Kyle Minor was reading in January 2009, and learn about his 25-city book tour.

Learn more about Kyle Minor and his work at his website, MySpace page, and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue