I’ve Got Questions for Carol Dines

Editor’s Note: This exchange is part of a series of brief interviews with emerging writers of recent or forthcoming books. If you enjoyed it, please visit other interviews in the I’ve Got Questions feature.

This Distance We Call Love by Carol Dines
  • What’s the title of your book? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Who is the publisher and what’s the publication date?

The title of my new book, a collection of short stories published by Orison Books, is This Distance We Call Love. The launch date is August 3, and my virtual book launch is August 4th at Magers and Quinn Bookstore in Minneapolis.

  • In a couple of sentences, what’s the book about? 

The stories explore boundaries in our most intimate relationships, how they change over time—marriage, family, friendship. I wanted to explore the tension between the demands of relationships and the demand in ourselves to keep growing. 

  • What’s the book’s genre (for fiction and nonfiction) or primary style (for poetry)?

The genre is fiction, and the stories have been called “novelistic” in style.

  • What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the book so far?

One of the reviewers said, “I have only rarely encountered short fiction that has this kind of visceral immediacy, so surprising at all turns.”

  • What book or books is yours comparable to or a cross between? [Is your book like Moby Dick or maybe it’s more like Frankenstein meets Peter Pan?]

One reviewer compared my stories to Lorrie Moore and Alice Munroe.  Both have been big influences, as has AM Homes.

  • Why this book? Why now?

Although the stories were written before the pandemic, I believe they deal with issues that have surfaced now more than ever.  They ask the question: What does one human being owe another?  The stories in this book are about how the world encroaches on our most committed relationships.  As our communities confront huge issues of climate change, violence, and post-pandemic life, we are all examining boundaries between ourselves and others, ourselves and the world.

  • Other than writing this book, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?

Teaching poetry and fiction to children and adolescents in residency programs.

  • What do you want readers to take away from the book?

I hope readers will see that we all have a responsibility to live our own lives, not the lives of other people.  Love is an act, a series of choices over time.  Sometimes we fail others or ourselves.  That is human, and hopefully, we learn how to love better.

  • What food and/or music do you associate with the book?

Pasta primavera because two stories take place in Italy.  The song that comes to mind is Carol King’s You’ve Got a Friend.

  • What book(s) are you reading currently?

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Esther Stories by Peter Orner

Carol Dines

Learn more about Carol on her website.

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Buy the book from the Orison Books or Bookshop.org

About the author

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