Author & Editor: Alix Ohlin and Gary Fisketjon
Thursday June 7, 2012
Alix Ohlin and her editor, Knopf's Gary Fisketjon (winner of The Center for Fiction's Perkins Award) discussed her new novel Inside, and the process to get this book published.
“A skillful storyteller . . . attractively quick-witted and wry.” —J. M. Coetzee
“Ohlin has a great eye, a great ear, and all the other equipment auguring a very successful future.”—Jay McInerney
“Expect to hear her spoken of in the same reverent breath as Lorrie Moore and Joy Williams.” —Heidi Julavits
When Grace, an exceedingly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man who has just failed to hang himself, her instinct to help kicks in immediately. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward. In the meantime, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away from home and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace’s ex-husband, who is a therapist as well, leaves the woman he’s desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic. We follow these four compelling, complex characters from Montreal and New York to Hollywood and Rwanda, each of them with a consciousness that is utterly distinct and urgently convincing. With razor-sharp emotional intelligence, Inside poignantly explores the many dangers as well as the imperative of making ourselves available to—and responsible for—those dearest to us.
Alix Ohlin was born in Montreal in 1972, graduated from Harvard University, and studied at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. Her fiction has appeared in the One Story series and Shenandoah, among other periodicals, She has received awards and fellowships from The Atlantic Monthly, the MacDowell Colony, and The Kenyon Review’s Writer Workshop. She is the author of The Missing Person, a novel, and Babylon and Other Stories. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and on NPR's Selected Shorts. She is currently on leave from Lafayette College and will spend the year in Los Angeles.
Gary L. Fisketjon is Vice President and Editor-at-Large at Knopf, having joined the company in 1990 after previously working at Random House and Vintage and at the Atlantic Monthly Press.