BOOKSLUT Interviews Lance Olsen

Here’s an excerpt of Alissa Nutting’s interview:

Lance Olsen is at the center of every discussion I have about the contemporary landscape of innovative and experimental writing. Having authored over twenty-five books, he’s as prolific as he is radical: I never, ever know what to expect when I pick up one of Olsen’s books — reading one cannot prepare you for another; usually, reading every book ever written could not prepare you. Olsen’s books unwrite, rewrite, and rewire textual expectation in profoundly original ways that cause us to see the truth of the human experience from new angles (good news: we are more complex and beautiful than I might have ever been willing to give us credit for, had I not become acquainted with Olsen’s writing). One of the more common misconceptions I often hear about experimental writing is, like most misconceptions, a problematic generalization: that experimental writing lacks empathy and emotion. May I gleefully direct all doubters to Olsen’s newest book, [[ there. ]].

Produced over the course of Olsen’s five-month residency at the American Academy in Berlin, [[ there. ]] is a hybrid in the most delicious sense. The book’s description situates the text as, “part critifictional meditation and part trash diary exploring what happens at the confluence of curiosity, travel, and innovative writing practices.” It’s art-worship, philosophy, confession, time-capsule, and next-level cultural pastiche. I had the opportunity to speak with Olsen about his newest curiosity of a text and the thinking that went into the creation of [[ there. ]], the only animal of its kind in the universe.

Read the rest of the interview HERE.

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