In this episode of The Archive Project, we feature a reading and conversation about the pandemic lockdowns and how people tried to get through them. They contain stories both sad and funny, strange and completely every day. We thought you’d want to hear them as we all begin to reckon with this strange and challenging time.
First up is Katherine D. Morgan, who reads her short essay, Wish You Were Here, at the Portland Art Museum as part of the 2020 Portland Book Festival. Then we hear from the hilarious novelist and essayist Gary Shteyngart, in conversation with Portland-based writer Jon Raymond, from the 2021 Portland Book Festival.
Note: Parts of this conversation touch on mature themes that may not be suitable for all listeners.
Katherine D. Morgan is the author of the debut chapbook No Self-Respecting Woman (Dorsa Brevia, ‘19). Her essay about the presidential election of Donald Trump will be featured in the upcoming anthology Fury: Women’s Lived Experience During the Trump Era, published by Pact Press in May 2020. Katherine’s work has appeared or is forthcoming at Huffington Post, The Rumpus, Portland Mercury, HelloGiggles, Pass/Fail, Ravishly, JMWW, and The Establishment. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where you can find her snuggling with her cat Ramona, and crying during the series finale of Frasier.
Gary Shteyngart was born in Leningrad in 1972 and came to the United States seven years later. His debut novel, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Absurdistan, was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. His novel Super Sad True Love Story won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and became one of the most iconic novels of the decade. His memoir, Little Failure, was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a New York Times bestseller. His most recent novel is Lake Success. His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in thirty countries. His most recent book is Our Country Friends.
Jon Raymond is the author of three novels, Rain Dragon, The Half-Life, and Freebird, and the short-story collection Livability. His work has appeared in Tin House, the Village Voice, Bookforum, and other places. He lives in Portland, Oregon.