Episode 86 — Alexis Smith


Alexis Smith is today’s guest.  Her debut novel, Glaciers, is now available from Tin House Books.

Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, calls it

…lyrical and luminous…

And Karen Russell, bestselling author of Swamplandia!, raves

Glaciers, Alexis Smith’s brilliant debut novel, is filled with kaleidoscopic pleasures.  Using prose as clear as pure, cold air, Smith moves the narrative vertically as well as horizontally, each ticking minute yielding more insights into a young woman’s life revealed over one single day. The past, present, and imaginary future stream into beautifully unstable geometries: Isabel’s childhood snows from her youth in Alaska are juxtaposed against her adult trip to a vintage thrift store; her hopes for an evening party push against the echoes of war that haunt a young soldier whom she loves. Line by line, in and out of time, this is a haunted, joyful, beautiful book–a true gift.

Topics of conversation include:  Portland Oregon, rent, smelting, China, St. John’s, Williamsburg, parenthood, Powell’s, food, hazelnuts, credit cards, Alaska, health benefits, sick leave, unions, single motherhood, divorce, risk, panic, bills, taxes, discipline, focus, guilt, legacy, nature, Sarah Palin, pollution, Kenai, Anchorage, Seattle, forests, moose, grizzly bears, body hair, riot girls, zines, pedicures, metrosexuality, Bikini Kill, grad school, Goddard College, rituals, creative immersion, and Tin House Books.

Monologue topics:  100 episodes, life coaches, strategy, publicity, marketing, brands, brand revulsion, self-promotion, self-loathing.