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Joseph Salvatore

Joseph Salvatore is the author of the story collection To Assume A Pleasing Shape (BOA Editions, 2011). He is the Books Editor at The Brooklyn Rail and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review. He is an associate professor of writing and literature at The New School, in New York City, where he founded the literary journal LIT. He lives in Queens.  @jasalvatore

FICTION: Three Chords and the Truth

Much has been written about Peter Markus’s limited vocabulary. Nearly every review of his previous three books offers a list of his words, often draped in quotation marks and given in no particular order: “moon,” “mud,” “river,” “rust,” “fish,” “star,” “brother.”

FICTION: Bodies In Motion

In 1792, William Blake indicts the city of London by invoking the metaphor of its abominations running in blood down city walls.

FICTION: Waiting for Bolongo

In his first novel, Part of the World (2007), Robert Lopez performed a kind of textual surgery, using language like a scalpel to cut new, trenchant incisions into narrative territory originally carved out by writers such as Alain Robbe-Grillet and Samuel Beckett.

In Conversation

SCOTT ALEXANDER HESS with Joseph Salvatore

Scott Alexander Hess earned his MFA in creative writing from The New School, in New York City. He blogs for the Huffington Post, and his writing has appeared in Genre Magazine, The Fix, and elsewhere. Hess co-wrote Tom in America, an award-winning short film starring Sally Kirkland and Burt Young. The Butcher’s Sons is his third novel and was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Hess now lives in Manhattan. He spoke with The Brooklyn Rail’s Books editor Joseph Salvatore in Hell’s Kitchen, the setting for The Butcher’s Sons.

In Conversation

PETER STRAUB with Joseph Salvatore

By the time I encountered Raymond Carver’s Where I’m Calling From: Selected Stories, in 1989, I’d already seen many of his stories in various magazines, books, anthologies—even on faded photocopies of copies of copies that my fiction teachers regularly taught from in class.

In Conversation

A New Literary Series for Women Writers Launches at Brooklyn’s BookCourt
MICHELE FILGATE with Joseph Salvatore

Red Ink is a new quarterly literary series centered around women writers, past and present. It’s inspired by this Virginia Woolf quote from Mrs Dalloway: “He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink”

Status Update: MATTHEW VOLLMER Speaks with Joseph Salvatore

Recently the writer Matthew Vollmer began posting a series of beguiling, engaging, and suspiciously literary status updates on his Facebook page.

In Conversation

The Writers' Writers: Bookmarked Series by Ig Publishing

If you were to choose one novel that was fundamental to you as a writer, what would it be? This is the question Robert Lasner, editor at Ig Publishing, asked a handful of authors. The result is Bookmarked, his new series that features writers devoting an entire book to discussing their choices.

In Conversation

Little Moments
CHARLES BOCK in conversation with Joseph Salvatore

Recently Charles Bock was a guest writer in a fiction class that I teach at The New School in New York City, on the theory and craft of fiction. The whole class had read his new novel, Alice & Oliver, about a family’s brutal ordeal with cancer, before Bock’s visit.

In Conversation

RICK MOODY with Porochista Khakpour

Last winter, I asked writers Rick Moody and Porochista Khakpour—whose passionate and fiercely intelligent exchanges about literature, writing, and writers I’d been reading on social media—to bring their conversation to The Brooklyn Rail, partly to share their words with our readers and partly to celebrate the occasion of Rick Moody’s new novel Hotel of North America. I gave them no prompts other than to go as long as they’d like to explore their ideas as fully as they wanted to.

In Conversation

JOSIP NOVAKOVICH with Joseph Salvatore

Josip Novakovich quit studying medicine in Novi Sad to emigrate to the United States in 1976. Writing in English as a second language, he has published a dozen books and more than a hundred stories in various journals and in collections with Garywolf, Harper Collins, and lately, Dzanc Press which has just published his latest, Honey in the Carcase, including “A Taste of the Sea."

The Best of the Brooklyn Rail’s Books in 2020

To mark the end of this annus horribilis, we are sharing a list of the best books we read and covered in the past 12 months. Piece by piece, the list reveals what—and how—we have endured.

The Rail's Best Books of 2017

Selections from our Books Editor

Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World

Paul Tremblay is an author who has ranged widely: hard-boiled crime fiction, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, horror, and suspense.

Fiction: Illness as Metallurgy

There’s chaos in Pisstown tonight.

In Conversation

My Mother, Myself, and Mr. Rightstein
NANCY DAVIDOFF KELTON with Joseph Salvatore

The opening line of Nancy Davidoff Kelton’s new memoir, Finding Mr. Rightstein, is “My father in his coffin looked better than most of the men I dated.”


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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