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SELECT MEDIA

Nicorvo @ Prairie Lights

Jay reads from THE STANDARD GRAND at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, Iowa...

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Join author John King for eclectic interviews with writers from a variety of genres, including fiction writing, poetry, memoirs, and journalism. From literature to genre writing to the movies, all writing is up for discussion. In particular, The Drunken Odyssey features discussion of all aspects of the writing process — not just the published manuscript, pristinely presented to the entire literate world, but also the scrawled notes and tortured drafts that lead writers there. In long-form interviews, writers discuss their process and the way that writing has influenced their lives...

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JAY: "I’m not someone who believes all art is political, all politics is artistry. Music can be apolitical, I think. But writing, as an art form, has to be political. There’s no way around it; it’s guilt by association. They both traffic in the same medium: words. Novels and laws require nouns and verbs. The US Constitution isn’t a piano concerto or saxophone solo...."

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JAY: "One battle that I had to fight is the tampon scene — the burying of it and Milton, the owner of the Standard, wanting to use it as bait for a snare. I had to fight to keep that in my novel with my agent and my editor. They both wanted to lose it, and I refused. I joked that I should retitle the novel The Tampon Grand. If it was just a matter of me wanting to gross readers out, I would’ve cut it, but I came to see it as a kind of stand-in for the history of patriarchy and what most patriarchies have done to female self-conception and what a lot of women think about their bodies..."

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i think this might've been the kellogg f

JAY: "The America I know and love best is a righteous muddle. Like most Americans, I’m a mutt, and English is a mongrel tongue. That’s partly what makes it so hearty. Diversity — linguistic, cultural, genetic — engenders survival on our planet. Our staying power is dependent on this, whether we acknowledge it or not. The hard part is maintaining some union in the face of all this difference...."

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"Nicorvo admits that his debut novel, The Standard Grand (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), is not an easy read. The characters are messy and complex. But that’s the reality of an honest war story and the people who inhabit it. And people have noticed...."

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Slews of writers out there listen to music while they write. For me, dead silence isn't a necessity but pretty damn near. Instrumentals, maybe. Anything with lyrics? Forget it. Singing, talking, or — worst of all — the mewling of our twenty-year-old cat, Fernie, drive me out of my mind, literally, while I'm writing or actively waiting for a word or two to arrive unannounced...

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JAY: "I don’t know what’s wrong with me. In life and love, I like to tuck in, stay settled. But in my writing, I’m a nomad. I seem to want the thing I don’t have, whatever comes hardest, and then — after interminable effort, after an avalanche rejection — maybe I get it, and maybe because the getting was so fraught, I don’t care to go through it again? But I don’t think that’s it. I think I need the struggle. I must be a masochist. You can't count on success; the struggle you can be damn sure of...."

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JAY: "The Trump presidency has given Moby-Dick new resonance. The easy analogy is that Trump is Captain Ahab at the helm of the American ship of state… But by my lights, Trump isn’t Ahab. Trump’s the whale, or Moby-Dick. Trump’s the great white hope — thar he blows — and Ahab is the white male voter. Vindictive. Destructive. Determined. To hell with the leaky boat that got us here and all its crew. If we’re not at the wheel, we’ll scuttle the whole damn thing. Trump will either make America great again, or he’ll bring the whole thing down, and either way, white male voters win. Cause they’ve got all the guns. Or so the sad, shallow thinking goes...."

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look at that face! for _navelly, 2017

JAY: "He’s a douchebag. (Can I say that in a wholesome, albeit gothic, Midwestern journal? Can you see I don’t fully belong to the Midwest?) Our menstruphobe president is a douchebag — it’s worth repeating — who gives douchebags a bad name, and the one thing I hold against Midwesterners — the knock on earnestness — is it makes you an easy mark for hucksters and conmen. A number of you — Michiganders and Ohioans especially — got conned last November, and royally...."

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