so misunderstood:

Lindsay Hunter lives in Chicago, where she is the co-host of Quickies! This is her first book.

Short Story Collections

(featherproof books, 2010)

reviewed by Mark Staniforth

Interview with Lindsay Hunter

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Lindsay Hunter: It took about two and a half years, maybe three. Most of them I had read at my reading series, Quickes!, or at other readings around Chicago.

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

LH: I didn't! I actually didn't expect to compile them until I was approached by featherproof. Zach Dodson said "When are you gonna write a book for us?" and that's when I started wondering if I could compile these nutty stories into something cohesive. Thank the sweet Lord for a press like featherproof!

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

LH: I chose the ones I was the most proud of - that might sound lame but it's true! There were actually a few I had in there that we later took out, because they just didn't seem to fit with the rest. The order I originally had was different as well, but then I got a really impassioned and thorough email from Jonathan Messinger suggesting a different order (though I believe it always started with My Brother, which is perhaps my favorite story in the collection), and I really liked where he was coming from, so I agreed.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

LH: It means a glimpse, a lush peek into a character's life or a moment in which something small or something huge happens, and you as the reader get to experience it too. Stories have always felt, to me, closest to life in that there is often no "closure." Or at least, the stories I hold dear are that way. Something happens, but at the end of the story the credits don't roll.

TSR: Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?

LH:  I think I most often picture my dad! That just occurred to me. He's this sarcastic libertarian type with an obsessive personality when it comes to music and books and art and politics, and I have always wanted him to think I was cool. I just want to impress the hell out of him. I don't think he read Daddy's, though, which is probably for the best.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection, anything at all?

LH:  Are we still friends?

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

LH: It feels so thrilling and so strange. It's a dream come true. I was very worried that people would hate the book - not that I wasn't proud of it - but it's dark and there's a lot of sex and I was worried that's all people would see. So far that hasn't been the case, which has been so rewarding.

TSR: What are you working on now?

LH: I'm actually compiling another collection, which I didn't expect. I am working on a novel but also writing stories, and the stories are piling up.

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

LH:  Museum of the Weird, by Amelia Gray; We Know What We Are, by Mary Hamilton, and These Strangers She'd Invited In, by Jac Jemc. Also Big World, by Mary Miller. And I can't help but mention two that I'm beyond excited about: Short Dark Oracles, by Sara Levine, and Tongue Party, by Sarah Rose Etter, both of which are coming out in June (I think).
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Find out what other authors, from Aimee Bender to Sana Krasikov, said about their collections, what the word "story" means to them, and how it feels to know that people are buying your books! More interviews >>>