Ghalib Islam, author of Fire in the Unnameable Country, discusses growing up in Toronto’s Jane and Finch area, the “breathlessness” of his writing, and the resistance he faced when he decided not to venture into a more secure career.

|| Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin

The auteur behind Sexy Beast and Birth discusses his new alien tale, Under the Skin, in which he covertly filmed encounters between his star—Scarlett Johansson—and unwitting non-actors from the streets of Glasgow.

The Nigerian-born British author discusses her fifth novel, Boy, Snow, Bird, a reinterpretation of Snow White with an eye towards issues of race and beauty, and tells us what it’s like “to mess up all the good fairy tales.”

||Blake Bailey, left, and Scott in 1988. Photo by Marlies Bailey

The famed biographer of John Cheever and Richard Yates discusses the tenuous bond between him and his self-destructive brother, whose suicide provides the basis of his new memoir, The Splendid Things We Planned.

The author meets an old carny who could have been stripped from the pages of her new novel. 

The Russian-American journalist talks to Hazlitt about her new book, Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, and the perils of resistance in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The tragicomic novelist—now memoirist—talks about his father’s harrowing upbringing, the value of asthma, modern threats to reading culture, and what he really thinks of Canadian writers.

Paul Aikins was an actor; he ended up teaching high school music theatre. Now, with the national-champion choir he leads featured in a new documentary, an old student checks in with her teacher and former enemy.

On the occasion of her online magazine’s second anniversary—and second publication, Rookie Yearbook Two—the 17-year-old empire operator talks about art, commerce, ’90s nostalgia, and getting off the internet.

The filmmaker behind the seminal documentary, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary, talks to Hazlitt about how the project came together, underground comics in Reagan-era America, and a memorable call to Mad magazine.

This morning’s edition of our Shelf Esteem column by Emily M. Keeler featured an ‘as-told-to’ style interview with David Gilmour, the award-winning Canadian novelist who also teaches literature at the University of Toronto. In the article Gilmour shares his opinions on women writers (“I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys.”), and his lack of enthusiasm for Canadian literature. It didn’t take long before a tempest came thundering over Twitter. And within a few hours his comments were reported elsewhere in the media (herehere, and here, for example).

Gilmour has since suggested that his remarks were taken out of context in an interview with Mark Medley of the National Post. And that he was joking. It bears pointing out that the ‘as-told-to’ style in which we publish our Shelf Esteem column is a common journalistic format, foregrounding the subject in a loose, conversational manner intended to feel more direct and intimate. We omit the interviewer and edit the transcripts for length, clarity and flow, always mindful of context. In the case of the Gilmour interview we did not leave out anything he said that would have qualified or elaborated on the comments that have proved controversial.

Given Gilmour’s claim that his comments were taken out of context we are publishing the complete, unedited transcript of his conversation with Keeler, small talk and all. Readers can judge for themselves.

Hazlitt talks to Margaret Atwood about her latest novel, MaddAddam, which completes the dystopic trilogy she began with Oryx and Crake. Plus everything from Twitter flirtations, military history, the state of Canadian literature, and cybersecurity.

||Tao Lin meeting the character who will be in his book.

In Taipei, Tao Lin’s third novel and seventh book, the protagonist takes drugs, falls in “love,” and sits down for an interview with a 22-year-old journalist. Here, that journalistor rather, the woman she’s based onspeaks with Lin once again. 

||Photo by Rachel Papo, from the series Serial No. 3817131

The 26-year-old Israeli novelist—and former weapons instructor—debuted last year with The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, inspired by her experience in the IDF. She is serious and blunt, but liable to giggle at Youtube videos.

The journalist and author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina talks about tracing her DNA and the nature of identity.

In 1985, The Big Evasion by Anne Collins was published just in time to capitalize on the country heated abortion debate across the country. Aptly subtitled Abortion: The Issue That Won’t Go Away, the book covered not only the trial of Canada’s Dr. Henry Morgentaler and his attempts to overturn the country’s abotion law, but also the tactics and evasions of both sides of the debate.

Following Morgentaler’s death earlier this week, we asked Collins five questions about him, how his death will influence the ongoing debate, and what his legacy will be.

As her exhibition representing Canada at the 55th Venice Biennale opens, we talk with Shary Boyle about the inspiration behind her new work, what passes for the avant garde these days, and how doing Venice has distracted her from turning forty.

||Walter Scott

The Citizen Lab director speaks with Wired columnist and New York Times Magazine contributing writer Clive Thompson about cybercrime, online surveillance, and why we might need a new Internet.

Hazlitt talks to the much celebrated Swamplandia! author about outsider art, her latest collection of stories, horror films, and the escapism of writing a novel.

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