Currently showing posts tagged Megan Stielstra

  • Megan Stielstra is SERIOUSLY BADASS WOMEN.

    She really is seriously badass. And if you want to check-out just how badass the Stielstra is you may read the whole SERIOUSLY BADASS WOMEN interview here. In the interim, however, excerpt? Word.

    Who is your favorite character? 

    I could answer this in a ton of different ways [1] and all of them be true, but for now let’s go with this: I just read an excellent essay by Roxane Gay about unlikeable woman in literature and I’m thinking about Cathy Ames from East of Eden, who’s introduced with the line, “I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents.” And Anna Karennina, who trades everything—everything—for passion and is vilified for it, vilified by herself, even! And Cersei Lannister, who gives, like, zero fucks. These women are constantly knocked down and they constantly get up. Everyone wants to cage them and they are not having it. No matter how tormented, they still push back. They make their own decisions, their own rules. Would you want to be friends with them? Maybe no; maybe yes, but honestly, who gives a shit? Lidia Yuknavitch’s Dora. Dorothy Allison’s Bone. Claire Underwood from House of Cards. Sethe, who killed her own children. All of them fight, in their own unique ways. Give me the women who fight. The ones with claws, who live and love and make their own goddamn choices, for better or worse.

  • Quite self-absorbedly geeked to let you know about The TNB Self-Interview I did for Be Cool.

    So please do check it out here. Or even here. Cool? Cool. And excerpt? Most definitely.


    Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here, and I appreciate the chance to talk with you about my new essay collection Be Cool—a memoir (sort of) from Dock Street press.


    Well, great, congratulations, truly, should we get right into the questions?

    Yes, of course, soft ball questions, right, I hope.


    Yeah, sure, anyway, so, navel-gazing…?



    You know, the activity of thinking too much or too deeply about yourself, your experiences, your feelings, etc. That’s from Merriam-Webster.

    Is that a question?


    No, not exactly, that was more of a reaction to your question, which was in response to my initial query. But if you don’t mind, I’m going to ask the questions here.

    You know, I had a therapist say that to me once.


    Yeah, how did that turn out?

    Not so good. But to your non-question, question, am I concerned about there being too much navel-gazing in Be Cool, no, I don’t think so, that never even crossed my mind. Really, it seems like writing personal essays would almost automatically engender that.


    Does that mean, that from your perspective, writing an essay collection, memoir (sort of) does not involve thinking too much or too deeply about oneself?

    Oh no, it does, but writing, ideally, is still something else entirely to me. You are attempting to craft a narrative that taps into universal themes, which just might offer the reader insight into themselves, if not actual entertainment and escape. And these are good things, and certainly the reasons why I read what I read.


    So, do you consider yourself an entertainer?

    At times, yes. Am I consciously engaged in the act of amusing or entertaining, also Merriam-Webster, absolutely. I want the reader to be engaged, and moved, and in my head. Does that also mean there is pain and confusion? Yes, of course there is.

  • Be Cool is quite amazing blurb from the quite amazing Megan Stielstra.

    "Oh my gosh, I love this book. Tanzer drops you into a scene like you’re standing right next to him, same sidewalk under your shoes, same heartbeat in your chest. His essays are both hilarious (losing his virginity at the same time he sees a UFO) and a punch to the gut (working cases in the foster care system). You think you’re entering a fairly straight-forward narrative—the 80’s, the 90’s, 2000’s to now—but the genius of Be Cool shows us that memory is far more complicated. These essays talk to one another: a childhood crush becomes an adult meditation on failure; the adult meditation on fear slides back to the child, the teenager, the 20-something. This is Tanzer at the top of the game."  -- Megan Stielstra, author of Once I Was Cool

    And more to come. Not to mention more information at Dock Street Press for those who want it.