Dark, heart-wrenching and deeply anticipated. There was a lot of talk about the book before it even came out. Katya Apekina talks about The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish.
For those of us who are not familiar with you yet – tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and translator. I was born in Moscow, and immigrated to the U.S. when I was 3 years old. I lived a pretty nomadic lifestyle in my 20’s—New York, New Orleans, St. Louis, and finally Los Angeles. There was something very exciting about the idea of abandoning everything and starting all over again in a new apartment, in a new city. In each new place I could imagine the different directions that my life could take. I feel less of that impulse now that I’m writing fiction because I have the freedom to imagine all those other lives without the hassle of having to live them. I’ve been in one place (Los Angeles) for a while now. I don’t know that any place will ever be Home with a capital H, but it’s home enough. I live here with my husband, radio journalist David Weinberg, and my 4-year-old daughter.
Congratulations on the release of The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish! It’s barely been a month — how has the past few weeks been for you?
The past few weeks have been crazy and exciting. I loved seeing friends at my readings who I haven’t seen in years, sometimes decades. It’s been fun to connect…
What happens when you start feeding your hungry, local church? Can you restore someone’s sight with a doll’s eyes, and how do you acquire a black tongue? These are only some of the questions you would receive answers to upon reading Rita Bullwinkel’s Belly Up.
The wonders of the body, the strange things it can do and its decay is the focal point of Belly Up, and it will leave you nothing short of amazed. Each of the 17 stories are as bizarre, sometimes even grotesque, as they are careful and tender. After finishing the last page of the collection, you will most likely stand in front of the mirror and observe your own being in confused wonder.
Bullwinkel has been featured widely in magazines and journals like Tin House, Conjunctions, BOMB, Vice, NOON and Guernica. Belly Up is her debut collection, however, published by Texas based, all-women’s press A Strange Object on May 8th, 2018. Both her fiction and translations have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, and Belly Up has received remarkable praise from other talents like Jeff VanderMeer and Lorrie Moore.
Belly Up was released earlier this year (congratulations!), what has the experience been like for you?
It’s been wonderful and joyous. As someone who writes things, you can forget – or I forgot – that people are actually going to read the…
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