Conversations with Gordon Lish

Edited by David Winters
and Jason Lucarelli

176 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches

9781496816252 Printed casebinding $90.00S

9781496818164 Paper $25.00T

Printed casebinding, $90.00

Paper, $25.00

"For me it's not hard to make a sentence. It's hard to let the sentence stand."

Known as "Captain Fiction," Gordon Lish (b. 1934) is among the most influential--and controversial--figures in modern American letters. As an editor at Esquire (1969-1977), Alfred A. Knopf (1977-1995), and The Quarterly (1987-1995) and as a teacher both in and outside the university system, he has worked closely with many of the most pioneering writers of recent times, including Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel, Sam Lipsyte, and Ben Marcus. A prolific author of stories and novels, Lish has also won a cult following for his own fiction, earning comparisons with Gertrude Stein and Samuel Beckett.

Conversations with Gordon Lish collects all of Lish's major interviews, covering the entire span of his extraordinary career. Ranging from 1965 to 2015, these interviews document his pivotal role in the period's defining developments: the impact of the Californian counterculture, the rise and decline of so-called literary "minimalism," dramatic transformations in book and magazine publishing, and the ongoing growth of creative writing instruction. Over time, Lish--a self-described "dynamic conversationalist"-- forges an evolving conversation not only with his interviewers, but with the central trends of twentieth-century literary history.

This book will be essential reading not only for students and fans of contemporary fiction, but for writers too: included are several interviews in which Lish discusses his legendary writing classes. Indeed, these pieces themselves amount to a masterclass in Lishian literary language--each is a work of art in its own right.

David Winters, Cambridge, United Kingdom, is a critic and historian of contemporary American fiction and the authorized biographer of Gordon Lish. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and numerous other publications. He is a research fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and coeditor-in-chief of 3:AM Magazine. Jason Lucarelli, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a writer whose book reviews, author interviews, and fiction have appeared in Numéro Cinq, the Literarian, 3:AM Magazine, Litro, Squawk Back, and NANO Fiction.

176 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches