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Interviews

Recent Issue

Marian Wood Kolish

The Imaginative Reality of Ursula K. Le Guin

March 28, 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin left behind a legacy unparalleled in American letters when she passed away this January at the age of eighty-eight. Named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress for her contributions to America’s cultural heritage—the author of more than sixty books of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, children’s literature, drama, criticism, and translation—she was one of only a select few writers (the others being Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth) to have their life’s work enshrined in the Library of America while still actively writing. She joined the likes of Toni Morrison, John Ashbery, and Joan Didion in receiving the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation, and her work garnered countless awards: the National Book Award, the PEN/Malamud, six Nebulas, six Hugos, and twenty-one Locus awards among them. Her name regularly appeared on the Nobel Prize for Literature short list, and writers as varied as Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell, and Zadie Smith herald her as an influence. I believe you could start anywhere in her vast canon of work—with her poems, her translations of Gabriela Mistral or Lao Tzu, her remarkable book reviews, or her activism on behalf of writers, women, and the environment—to begin to understand the importance of Ursula K. Le Guin to both the world of letters and the world at large. But she was best known for her fiction, most notably her novels, and most specifically her books of science fiction and fantasy. And fiction, the genre she admittedly felt most comfortable talking about, was the occasion for the conversation that follows.

Interview and comic by Jess Ruliffson

The Final Act

Dr. Thomas A. Andrew served as New Hampshire's Chief Medical Examiner for two decades, retiring in September 2017 amid the growing opioid crisis. Now he's studying to become an ordained deacon in extension ministry to help at-risk youth on the Appalachian Trail.

VQR Online

An Interview with Francine Prose

June 13, 2014

Even casual readers of literary warhorses the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books will recognize the name Francine Prose. She’s written more than a dozen novels dating back to 1973, from Judah the Pious (Atheneum, 1973) [...]

Leslie Jamison

An Interview with Leslie Jamison

April 14, 2014

The first Leslie Jamison essay I remember reading is “Fog Count,” in the Oxford American. At the time, I was busy researching and interviewing lifelong residents in small-town Virginia, and Jamison’s depiction of the community surrounding a W [...]