Episode 23: Leni Zumas

 Author photo by Sophia Shalmiyev.

Author photo by Sophia Shalmiyev.

Episode 23

Leni Zumas is the author, most recently, of the novel Red Clocks, which was a New York Times Editors' Choice, an Indie Next selection and a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Literary Fiction pick. She is also the author of the story collection Farewell Navigator and the novel The Listeners, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She is an associate professor in the MFA program in creative writing at Portland State University.

Discussed In This Episode

Wondering how your characters would vote. Close third-person and authorial steering. Presenting women characters. Female stowaways and polar exploration. "There are so many of us who are at odds with the scripts that we've inherited." Writing lessons from Mom. Letting go of expectations. How is this book going to change you? How to prevent obsessively re-reading what you've just written. Levels of difficulty in fiction. When are you dodging the work? Formalizing the space around writing. How each project helps the next. Scarcity thinking. Virginia Woolf, Georgia O'Keeffe and letting your style develop. Signal boosting. How books talk to one another. 

Recommended Reading

Red Clocks, Leni Zumas
Visitation, Jenny Erpenbeck
Kate Blackwell
Living a Feminist Life, Sara Ahmed
Noy Holland
Counternarratives, John Keene
Kate Bernheimer

 

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Courtney