Q&A with Gabe Durham

1. If you were reviewing your own work, how would you describe its style or point of view?
 

Simultaneously deadpan and dead serious. The larger work that "An Execution" comes from relies heavily on juxtaposition to call attention to things in our world that I find fascinating, overwhelming, and/or fucked, which to me allows for any number of valid reader responses.

 

2. Who are some of your favorite contemporary authors?
 

For this project, both John D'Agata and Patrik Ourednik were hugely important to me. Also the nonfiction of Joy Williams, Nicholson Baker, David Shields, Truman Capote, and David Foster Wallace. Before I began this book, I mostly wrote fiction. It was reading these authors that convinced me to take some time to focus on creative nonfiction. And now that's what my last two book manuscripts have been.

 

3. If you were told you couldn't write anymore, what job would you pursue and why?
 

Ha, well I've never gotten to write as a job, so your question sounds like the real world! But if I had to knock writing off my artistic list: I'd do more improv, play more music, and edit more books by other people. There'd be a huge absence that would creep up on me slowly through the decades, and on my deathbed I'd curse the judge/doctor/witch who'd banned the art I'm best at.

 

4. When you think of Austin, what comes to mind?
 

Alamo Draft House (and Mr. Sinus Theater), all the queso I want, Shiner, Barton Springs, jogging with my sister in high heat, the time I saw The Wrens play SXSW, Keep Austin Weird.

 

5. Answer the question you wish we had asked.

 

Great question--I do have a lot of tips about blending your own smoothies. 1. No ice, ever! 2. Peel your bananas before freezing them and then use frozen banana in every smoothie. 3. Frozen strawberries are often pretty cheap. Just make sure they're "no sugar added." 4. Carrots add a nice sweetness. 5. You can barely taste the addition of broccoli and spinach so you might as well add them in. 6. Be careful with kale. Add it, but too much makes the whole thing gross. 7. Plain yogurt works great--no sugary stuff. 8. OJ is the best juice base. 9. Chia seeds and flax seeds can sneak right in for a health boost. 10. A few blackberries turn the whole smoothie a deep and satisfying purple.


About Gabe Durham

Gabe Durham is the author of the novel Fun Camp and is the publisher and editor of Boss Fight Books. Previously he edited Dark Sky Magazine and Keyhole Magazine. His writings have appeared in Hobart, Mid-American Review, Quarterly West, Daytrotter, The Rumpus, HTMLGiant, DIAGRAM, The Collagist, Everyday Genius, NOO Journal, Quick Fiction, Nano Fiction, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Web anthology. He lives in Los Angeles.