J.E. Fishman, author of the thriller Primacy, and the forthcoming novel Cadaver Blues, is a featured contributor in TNB Books’ new collection, The Beautiful Anthology, where he wrote about the most beautiful tennis serve he ever hit.


Most beautiful writer/artist?

Michelangelo. His David and his Pietá can’t be captured in a photograph; you have to see them in real life before you die. Creativity is such a delicate thing. To think that these works began in someone’s head and found eternal perfection in stone, of all things—hard stone—it stops the world when you see them.

Can you be beautiful if no one tells you that you are? 

It’s like having talent. You can get by even if no one notices, but life’s a lot more fun if they do.


Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? 

It has to be a place where all the senses converged with a satisfying emotional experience.  We rented a villa in Lazio outside Rome a few summers ago. In the morning, my wife would make espresso in one of those old stovetop pots and we’d put warm milk in it and eat biscotti out on the terrace with our daughter. The Italians like to burn their brush, so there would be a faint smell of smoke in the air mingling with the aroma of strong coffee. Birds singing. We’d sit there looking out at the hills where ancient civilization met nature, hills that had been tamed for millennia—olive groves and grape vines—but that still also retained a wild element. All three of us were at peace…those were spectacular moments, and we had them every morning for a week.

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TNB Nonfiction features some of the web's best essays, excerpts of up-and-coming books, self-interviews, profiles, and humor from a wide range of authors. Past and future writers include Emily Rapp, Mira Bartók, Nick Flynn and Melissa Febos, among many others.  Our editorial team includes:  SETH FISCHER is the Nonfiction Editor. His work has appeared in Guernica, Joyland, Best Sex Writing, and elsewhere, and he was the first Sunday editor at The Rumpus. His nonfiction was selected as notable in The Best American Essays, and he has been awarded fellowships by Jentel, the Ucross Foundation, Lambda Literary, and elsewhere. He is also a developmental editor of nonfiction and fiction, and he teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles, UCLA-Extension, and Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

One response to “Beautiful Views: J.E. Fishman”

  1. Rachel Pollon says:

    Hi, J.E.
    I want to go to Lazio now.
    (Positano was my immediate most beautiful — the Italians know what they’re doing.)
    Beauty is good.

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