I’ve been thinking a lot about Lance Olsen lately—not only because he tied up and duct taped my mouth during the AWP 2010 session on copyright a few weeks ago, and not only because we’ve become friends over the years, but also because he is A) so damn prolific, and B) so damn insightful in his fictions. Read Head in Flames (Chiasmus 2009), which I recently discussed here, for the most recent example.
Some years ago (2006), I conducted the following conversation with Olsen for the now-defunct econoculture.com. Two notable developments since then:
1) Olsen has returned to academia at the University of Utah.
2) My editor for this piece at Econoculture, Matt Kirkpatrick, has too gone to academia after years in the private sector, and, in an odd happenstance, is now one of Olsen’s Ph.D. students (and a damn fine writer himself) at Utah. They did not know each other when this interview was published.
Rereading this, I’m struck by the way it’s a snapshot of a great writer at a particular moment.