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Jamming Their Transmission, Episode 4: Dawn Raffel

“Dawn Raffel’s most recent book, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney, was chosen as one of NPR’s best books of 2018. Previous books include a memoir, The Secret Life of Objects; a novel, Carrying the Body; and two story collections, Further Adventures in the Restless Universe and In the Year of Long Division.

Her writing has been published in O, The Oprah MagazineBOMBNew Philosopher, The San Francisco ChronicleConjunctionsBlack BookOpen CityThe Anchor Book of New American Short StoriesArts & LettersThe QuarterlyNOON, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies.

She was a fiction editor for many years, helped launch O, The Oprah Magazine, where she served as Executive Articles Editor for seven years, and subsequently held senior-level ‘at-large’ positions at More magazine and Reader’s Digest. In addition, she served as the Center for Fiction’s web editor. She has taught in the MFA program at Columbia University, the Center for Fiction, and at Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia; Montreal; and Vilnius, Lithuania.

She currently works as an independent editor for individuals and creative organizations, specializing in memoir, short stories, and narrative nonfiction. She is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches embodied creative writing.”

Among the things, topics, people, etc., we talk about are The Strange Case of Dr. Couney; writing, biography, autobiography, research, teaching, microfiction, Alan Ziegler, Stéphane Mallarmé, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, Christine Schutt, Kim Chinquee, Diane Williams, Terese Svoboda, Deb Olin Unferth, István Örkény, Dom Leone, The Quarterly, Gordon Lish, influence, inspiration, appropriation, Richard Kostelanetz, Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, obsessions, breath, death, Chicago, the Chicago’s World Fair, the Midwest, technology, Diane DeSanders, Coney Island, incubators, history, Thomas Edison, John Dillinger, Salvador Dalí, Victoria Redel, Noy Holland, Sam Michel, Margaret Atwood, Antonya Nelson, Alice McDermott, and more.

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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