is an American writer of avant garde short stories and science fiction
who has won prizes ranging from the Nebula Award to the Philip K. Dick
Award. Ursula K. Le Guin has called her "a major fabulist, a marvelous
magical realist, one of the strongest, most complex, most consistently
feminist voices in fiction." Among her novels are Carmen Dog and The Mount. She has also written two cowboy novels called Ledoyt and Leaping Man Hill. Her most recent novel, The Secret City,
was published in April 2007. She lives in New York City most of the
year, and spends her summers in Owens Valley, California, and has used
this setting in her stories.
In 2005, she was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.
Her short story, Creature won the 2002 Nebula Award for best short story and I Live With You won the 2005 Nebula Award in the same category.
The Collected Stories of Carol Emshwiller
(Nonstop Press, 2011)
by Tania Hershman
In The Time Of War & Master Of the Road To Nowhere (2011)
I Live With You (2005)
Report to the Men's Club (2002)
The Start of the End of It All (1990)
Verging on the Pertinent (1989)
Joy In Our Cause (1974)
with Carol Emshwiller
TSR: Collected Stories is made up of the stories from your
published collections. When did you start writing short stories and how
did your first book get published?
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
Carole Emshwiller: Many of these stories were never collected anywhere until now, especially
the very earliest ones. With a lot of them I was learning how to write
as I was selling. I wasn't thinking of a collection AT ALL.! I was just
wondering how to sell a story. And that was enough of a challenge. My
first collection Joy In Our Cause was published by Harper and Row. In
those days the bigger houses were willing to pay attention to beginning
writers. That was so long ago. Right now I can't remember how that
does the word "story"
mean to you?
CE: What does the word "story" mean to me? It means something with a beginning
and middle and end. Nowadays I do like plot and that's what I'm doing
but, as long as the writing is formed somewhat, I enjoy reading it.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
CE: I think I write for a reader who thinks language is funny. Not always,
but mostly. But when I write a humorous story I think almost all my
phrases are funny or ironic.
What are you working on now?
CE: You DO know I'm legally blind? I've only been that way for about six months
and we're still trying set up ways for me to read or write. I can write
non fiction, as I'm doing here, but I haven't found a way to write
fiction yet. That's a whole other thing.