A new interview with alumna and former Larry Levis Post-Graduate Fellowship Lisa Van Orman Hadley (fiction, ’09) appears online in The Collagist:
“Lisa Van Orman Hadley’s stories have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Epoch, New England Review, The Collagist and Knee-Jerk. She was the recipient of the Larry Levis Post-Graduate Fellowship and a Money for Women/Barbara Deming scholarship. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her four-eyed husband, two-eyed twins and one-eyed cat. She is writing a novel-in-stories.
Her essay, “Making Sandwiches with My Father,” appeared in Issue Fifty-Two ofThe Collagist.
Here, Lisa Van Orman Hadley talks with interviewer William Hoffacker about concision, chronology, and writing about family.
What can you tell us about the origins of this essay (how/why/when you began to write the first draft or to conceive the initial idea)?
Several years ago, as an undergrad, I read Will Baker’s essay, “My Children Explain the Big Issues.” It was the first time I had ever seen creative nonfiction written in vignettes instead of a straightforward narrative. I liked the playfulness of the form and how much work the title did. I remembered that Will Baker essay years later as I sat down to write “Making Sandwiches with My Father.” My dad had just been diagnosed with dementia (we were still a couple of years away from the official diagnosis of Alzheimer’s). An alternative to the traditional narrative seemed like a way for me to create distance from a situation that was still raw and unfolding. The title (I think I came up with the title first or, at least, very early on) provided a theme to vary on and allowed me to explore different facets of my relationship with my father without being tethered to a traditional narrative.”
Continue reading online at The Collagist.