Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai is a Chicago-based author of the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House. Her short fiction has been chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper's, Tin House, Ploughshares, and New England Review.

Makkai's latest book is the story collection Music for Wartime.

From her Q & A with Christine Sneed:

Your stories are often very funny. I'm thinking especially of "Painted Ocean, Painted Ship" and "The November Story." Some say that a writer has to be born with the ability to be funny, but I'm not sure I agree. Do you ever set out purposely to write a comic story or does the humor emerge as you progress?

I've realized along the way that when I think I'm being funny, I'm actually being dark and depressing, and if I set out to be totally serious, it ends up being funny. My aesthetic is an odd blend of humor and darkness, I think... Which isn't to say "dark humor." That's something else entirely, and in my mind it involves laughing when people fall down the stairs. I do think that I edit to be funny, or funnier, if the occasion warrants. There are ways to make a sentence funnier -- like saving the joke so it lands with the last word of the sentence, rather than earlier -- and I'll notice those opportunities on...[read on]
Learn more about the author and her work at Rebecca Makkai's website, Facebook page and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: The Borrower.

The Page 69 Test: The Hundred-Year House.

My Book, The Movie: The Hundred-Year House.

--Marshal Zeringue