Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Jenn Shapland. Her debut, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, is a genre-bending work of nonfiction. It is available from Tin House Books.


Shapland’s nonfiction has been published in O, the Oprah Magazine, The Paris Review DailyTin HouseOutside ​onlineLit Huband elsewhere. Her essay “Finders, Keepers” won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and she was awarded the 2019 Rabkin Foundation Award for art journalism. She has a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin and lives in New Mexico.

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Do you remember when your father used to say that talking to yourself was a sign of intelligence?

Yes. Lol.


Do you want to talk about your book?

Not really, but I will.

That’s from Carson McCullers. Time is an idiot.

Being a child of divorce from an early age, I have abandonment issues. I know — pitiful. It’s not something on which I dwell; it’s just always at the back of my battered brain. What can you do.

I hate goodbyes. Absolutely hate them. I’m no good at them.