Michael Nye is the author of the story collection STRATEGIES AGAINST EXTINCTION (2012) and the novel ALL THE CASTLES BURNED (2018). His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in American Literary Review, Cincinnati Review, Crab Orchard Review, Epoch, Hobart, Kenyon Review and Normal School, among many others. The former managing editor of the Missouri Review, he currently lives with his family in Washington, D.C. Visit him online at mpnye.com or on Twitter: @mpnye
Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?
I continue to be fascinated with issues of class and inequality, and how people try to (and often fail) to define who they are through their work. I’m also thinking quite a bit about subtext and resonance, how gestures and images remind a reader of earlier passages in the narrative. This probably sounds incredibly self-indulgent as a writer, but, hey, words matter. As a reader, I’m thinking about novel structure, since I just sent novel revisions to my publisher, and how a book’s scaffolding shapes the experience in conscious and unconscious ways.
Eckleburg: What are you working on now?
I just sent the most recent edits on my forthcoming novel back to my editor, so I’m starting the messy first draft of a new novel. I’m about halfway through, but it has a bumpy, recursive, disjointed first draft, so I’ll be working on this one for the foreseeable future.
Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?
Fitzgerald has always been a strong influence for me; I’ve reread all his novels multiple times, his language is precise and gorgeous and insightful, and his themes of class and money continue to matter in American life today. I also feel the heavy influence of Richard Yates, William Maxwell, and Alice Munro in my writing. In addition (to try to sound smarter and more diverse): the paintings of George Bellows, 90’s hip-hop, and movies in which lots of things explode in spectacular fashion.
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