Brilliant interview with Rebecca Curtis

Rebecca Curtis

Eric Rosenblum had a sit-down with Rebecca Curtis, a writer whose stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, n+1, and elsewhere.

This was for their “Dan & Eric Read The New Yorker So You Don’t Have To” podcast.

The Rebecca Curtis episode

Random notes:

  • Curtis unapologetically rips off other stories authors. Need a plot? Take Romeo and Juliet. After all, Shakespeare did. She said she ripped off ol’ pee-drinkin‘ Salinger (“For Esme”) for her story “The Toast,” which appeared in Harper’s. She said she’s been trying to rip off a Murakami story for a while now.
  • She said she was able to teach writing at Columbia during the toughest years of battling Lyme disease, though she couldn’t write stories of her own during that time.
  • She entered the Syracuse MFA program, but switched to fiction, with help from George Saunders.
  • Her aunt thinks an early story was “whiny,” an adjective Curtis herself uses to describe first-person stories that were popular in the 80s and 90s (think Raymond Carver, Mona Simpson, Mary Gaitskill).
  • She said she benefited tremendously from and was extremely open to edits from other writers, including those in her writing group.

Check out the interview and subscribe to their show here.