Stuart Nadler’s writing touches on the core American themes: vast geography, wealth, racism, individual rights, and baseball. He is the author of Wise Men, a sweeping tale of a family’s rise to fortune and the complications it creates, and the story collection The Book of Life. Nadler has been honored with the 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an all-around nice guy.
Nadler’s first novel, Wise Men, was published in February to great acclaim. The Boston Globe found it “genuinely moving,” while People Magazine called it “A historical novel with the gusto of Gatsby.” To read his story, “Airplanes,” check out the Fall 2012 issue of CQ. The Carolina Quarterly recently talked with Nadler about looking at pictures of old Cadillacs, Cape Cod National Seashore, and what it’s like to create a town.
–Nate Young, Fiction Staff
Carolina Quarterly (CQ): You were recently selected for “5 under 35″ by the National Book Foundation for The Book of Life. What does that honor mean for you?
Stuart Nadler (SN): It was a great honor and utterly humbling, especially having been picked by Edith Pearlman, a writer whose work I love and admire—and a Bostonian! And I was especially glad to be part of such a terrific group of writers.
CQ: Your new novel, Wise Men, seems to be very concerned with geography: Cape Cod; New Haven, Connecticut; suburban New York; and rural Iowa, among other places. Do you have any connection to these locations yourself?
SN: I don’t have any particular connection to New Haven, apart from having driven through it for years when going back and forth between Boston and New York. I have, though, lived in Iowa, which is where I went to graduate school, and for the past few years I’ve been spending time in the summers out on the far arm of Cape Cod. It’s an area of the country I love, and one that everyone, at some point, needs to see. President Kennedy made this far edge of the Cape into a National Park (The National Seashore) and so it’s been left alone, and because of that it’s completely empty of all the kinds of beachy bric-a-brac and resort hotels and boardwalk amusements that you find up and down the east coast. Instead you have the trees and the spot ponds and the whole coast, unadorned and beautiful.
We recently asked CQ contributor Lauri Anderson to record a selection from her story, “Here Come the Carnivores,” featured in CQ 62.1.
Lauri Anderson’s fiction and poetry have appeared in Willow Springs, Meridian, The Greensboro Review, Bellingham Review, Passages North, and on air at NPR’s “All Things Considered” Weekend. She is the recent winner of both the Tobias Wolff Award in Fiction, as well as The Robert Watson Literary Prize. She lives in Lubbock, Texas, where she is a PhD student at Texas Tech University.
The Carolina Quarterly’s newly revamped Past Issues page offers readers sneak-peaks at recent and historical back issues, as well as the chance to download or purchase CQ. Check it out and start exploring our history!
Woody Skinner grew up in Batesville, Arkansas, before attending four different universities in three different states. He’s currently an MFA candidate at Wichita State University, where he serves as fiction editor of mojo. Other work of his has appeared or is forthcoming in Necessary Fiction, NANO Fiction, and Euphony.
The Carolina Quarterly recently talked with one of our favorite contributors, Woody Skinner. With a name like a Jack Palance character, this word-wrangler sings of the Ozark plateau and the lonesome call of a life on the road. To read his story, “The Knife Salesman,” check out the Winter 2011 issue of CQ (http://localhost:8888/cqonline/past-issues/61-3-winter-2011/). If you’re into Ted Nugent and the Parnassian properties of late-night infomercials, read our interview below.
–Jerrod Rosenbaum, Fiction Staff
Carolina Quarterly (CQ): I don’t want to sound weird, but you have a pretty great name.
Woody Skinner (WS): My real name is William Wood Skinner. Wood is my mom’s maiden name. But I’ve been Woody all my life.
CQ: How did the kids in grade school react to a name like Woody Skinner?
WS: There was a fair amount of good-natured teasing, but it was character building, I’d say.
CQ: So you’re an Arkansas native, but you’re living in Wichita these days. What brought you up the river?
WS: Right. I grew up in rural-northeast Arkansas. In the Ozark foothills. When I finished undergrad it took me a few years to figure out what I wanted to do. I didn’t take any creative writing classes in college, so when I sent out applications to graduate school I didn’t have a portfolio or anything. Wichita State University accepted me and their program looked good, so here I am.
In honor of National Poetry Month, the Carolina Quarterly is launching a campaign to recognize the poetic talents of Orange County, North Carolina.
Send us your most creative ballads, haikus, sestinas, sonnets, villanelles, ghazals, prose poems, or free verse compositions by 11:59pm on March 15th for consideration. Poems must be no longer than 30 lines. 4 poems per person, maximum.
The best pieces will be featured on Chapel Hill Transit buses throughout the month of April. One grand prize winner will receive $50. The winner and all honorable mentions will get a copy of their bus poster and a one-year subscription to the Carolina Quarterly.
Rachel Richardson’s first book, Copperhead, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2011. She is a 2013-14 National Endowment for the Arts fellow, a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and currently serves as the Kenan Visiting Writer at UNC Chapel Hill. Her poems and nonfiction appear in Slate, New England Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.