Tag Archives: Coffee House Press

Past the Unreliable :: An Interview with Selah Saterstrom


Slab (small title continued: “On That Hallelujah Day When Tiger & Preacher Meet”) is one of those novels that hits you fast and hard, that you finish in one sitting, gulping down like an ice-cold glass of water, yet fail to be able to fully recall or explain the experience even moments after it ends. What’s for sure is this: the story of Slab centers around Tiger, a woman named for the color of her hair, a dancer, a dreamer, a girl fully rooted in the post-Katrina South, who may or may not be narrating the entirety of her story to Miss Barbara Walters. It’s little use trying to quickly describe Slab or its character Tiger, who is, after all, only as complex and fascinating as the author of the beast, Selah Saterstrom. In our brief interview, Saterstrom explores religion and its possible “anti-heroes,” Southern roots (and holds), even the heroisms of Nancy Drew. If you enjoy even a piece of this interview, go, fast, and pick up Saterstrom’s Slab (and all her other works).

Kati Heng: The setting of Mississippi seems to hold such a prominence in the story of Slab. Could this story have taken place anywhere else? What would it have looked like elsewhere?

Selah Saterstorm: The de-categorizing hand of the disaster doesn’t mind manners or borders. In this sense, the story could have taken place anywhere. Capitalism and politics, however, are sickly-bloated with border-fetish. In this sense, the disaster that was FEMA very much locates the story in Mississippi and Louisiana.

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Density and Chocolate: An Interview with Laurie Foos

Laurie Foos’ latest novel, The Blue Girl (Coffee House Press), is a story centered around secrets, most notably, that of the Blue Girl herself. A mysterious child living near the waters of a small lake town, the Blue Girl—whose skin is truly a cerulean shade for reasons unknown to both readers and the novel’s other characters—is a fascination for the teens of the town and a confidant for their mothers. Told from the perspective of several of these mothers and daughters, the stories of the Blue Girl and the women themselves, of all their secrets and tragedies, are slowly revealed throughout the semi-magical narrative.

I got the chance to ask Foos more about this Blue Girl, the power of secrets, and the fears she has about her own daughter entering her teenage years:

Author Laurie Foos

Author Laurie Foos

Kati Heng: Probably the question everyone asks yet you don’t want to answer—do you have a reason in your mind for what caused the Blue Girl to turn blue?  Continue reading

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