We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas’ epic first novel, was 10 years in the making and, upon completion, the subject of a vigorous publishers’ bidding war. Readers will understand why.
If a writer should follow Ernest Hemingway’s well-known dictum to write what he knows, then first-time novelist Jess Row just might be in the wrong business.
"I wanted to write about Wisconsin,” Nickolas Butler says of the genesis of his soulful first novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, which gave voice to his homesickness.
“My first semester at the [Iowa] Writers Workshop, I was down there alone. I was sleeping in this terrible apartment,” Butler says.
After publishing two unforgettable collections of short stories (Fitting Ends and National Book Award finalist Among the Missing), Dan Chaon decided several years ago that it was time to attempt a novel. "I was very interested in the issue of adoption," he says from his home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, "and for a long time I had...