E.B. Bartels

Nonfiction mafia.

Tag: interviews

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Alanna Okun, interviewed by Céillie Clark-Keane

Happy Valentine’s Day! Celebrate your *~*love*~* of nonfiction today with the second Non-Fiction by Non-Men interview of 2019! This one also features one of my former GrubStreet students, Céillie Clark-Keane, as a guest interviewer, in conversation with Alanna Okun! Enjoy.

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on February 14, 2019.

Alanna Okun is a writer, editor, and crafter living in New York. She is currently a deputy editor at Vox, and she has previously worked at Racked and Buzzfeed. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesBrooklyn MagazineApartment TherapyThe Billfold, NPR, Vogue Knitting, The Hairpin, and other places. She has appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America, as well as other local and national television and radio shows. Okun’s first book, The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater, was published by Flatiron Books in March 2018.

This month’s guest Non-Fiction by Non-Men interviewer is Céillie Clark-Keane. Céillie lives in Boston, where she she currently works as a managing editor. She has a Master’s in English Literature from Northeastern University, and her work has been published by Electric LiteratureBustleEntropyand more.


“I Talked to 39 Women Who Write Nonfiction, and Here’s What I’ve Learned” on Electric Lit!

For the full piece, see it on Electric Literature.
Published on July 5, 2018.

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I am so excited to have this piece up on Electric Literature today! In my three years interviewing writers for my Non-Fiction by Non-Men series on Fiction Advocate, I have learned many helpful things from these badass women, and I hope you all will, too.

Happy birthday, Non-Fiction by Non-Men!

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Three years ago today, on April 28, 2015, Brian Hurley published my very first Non-Fiction by Non-Men interview with Patricia O’Toole. I can’t believe that it has been three years, and so I wanted to take a moment to pause and thank some people who have made this whole Non-Fiction by Non-Men thing possible.

Thank you, Patty, for your willingness to be the first interviewee in the series. You started it all three years ago. Thank you!

Thank you, Brian, for giving me a platform to publish Non-Fiction by Non-Men (I love being part of Fiction Advocate!), for your careful, helpful, and perfect edits, for always sending me suggestions for future interviewees, and for being the column’s number one champion. Non-Fiction by Non-Men exists because of you!

Thank you to everyone who has read my interviews over the past three years, especially those of you who have taken the time to read every single one (hi, Mom and Dad).

And, of course, thank you to every writer who has let me interview her. Non-Fiction by Non-Men would not exist without the generosity of your time and the care and thoughtfulness you take in answering my questions. It has been my greatest pleasure getting to speak with each of you about writing (and reading and teaching and journaling and studying Russian and going to therapy and drinking beer and having pets and whatever else has come up over the course of our conversations), and I have learned so much from each and every one of you. Thank you again for your time and for being supportive of your fellow writers, especially the new ones who are just starting out, like me. Thank you.

As of this month, I have published thirty-seven interviews on Fiction Advocate (for a complete list, go here) and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. Just wait and see who I have lined up for this spring and summer.

Happy birthday, Non-Fiction by Non-Men!

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Michelle Kuo

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Published on December 13, 2017.

Michelle Kuo was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to immigrants from Taiwan. After graduating with a degree in Social Studies and Gender Studies from Harvard College, she joined Teach for America and moved to the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Kuo’s memoirReading with Patrick, is about her time teaching in Helena and, later, returning to the Delta to help one of her students after he is imprisoned for murder. Kuo teaches in the History, Law, and Society program at the American University of Paris on issues related to race, punishment, immigration, and the law. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the LA Review of Books, Poets & Writers magazine, and Literary Hub, among others. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kuokuomich.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Meghan Daum

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Originally published on April 13, 2016.


Meghan Daum has written two popular essay collections, My Misspent Youth (Open City Books, 2001) and The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion (FSG, 2014), which won the 2015 PEN Center USA Award for creative nonfiction. Daum has also written a novel, The Quality of Life Report (Viking, 2003) and a memoir, Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House (Knopf, 2010). She is the editor of the New York Times bestselling essay anthology Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not To Have Kids (Picador, 2015).

In addition to her books, Daum has been an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Times for over a decade, covering cultural and political topics. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Vogue, among others. Daum is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and is an adjunct associate professor in the MFA Writing Program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

Interview with The Nobleman

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I was interviewed by The Nobleman! As the former Editor-in-Chief of the Nobles literary arts magazine, Calliopé, I was a little uneasy at first about talking with our rival publication, but it was actually a blast. Check it out.

Shout out to my interviewer, William Wang ’16, for asking such great questions. I even had to write a dog haiku on the spot.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Margo Jefferson

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Originally published on August 13, 2015.


In the fifth of her series of interviews with women who write nonfiction, E.B. Bartels speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Margo Jefferson.

Margo Jefferson has been a staff writer and cultural critic for The New York Times and Newsweek, in addition to having essays and reviews in Harper’s, Vogue, and New York Magazine, among others. Along with a Pulitzer Prize, Jefferson has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation/Theatre Communications Group grant. She is the author of On Michael Jackson (Pantheon, 2006) and Negroland: A Memoir (Pantheon, 2015). Jefferson teaches in the Writing Program at Columbia University.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Cris Beam

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Originally published on July 13, 2015.


In the fourth of her series of interviews with women who write nonfiction, E.B. Bartels speaks with Cris Beam.

Cris Beam has written two books of nonfiction–Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers (Harcourt, 2007) and To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care (Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, 2013)–and a young adult novel, I Am J (Little, Brown, 2011). Her books have received many awards, including a Lambda Literary award and a Stonewall Honor for Transparent, and a Kirkus and American Library Association Best Book honor and a Junior Library Guild Selection for I Am J. Additionally, Beam’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atavist, The Huffington Post, The Awl, Out, and on This American Life, among others. She teaches writing at Columbia University and New York University.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Lis Harris

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Originally published on June 15, 2015.


In the third of her series of interviews with women who write nonfiction, E.B. Bartels speaks with former New Yorker staff writer Lis Harris.

Lis Harris was at The New Yorker from 1970 to 1995. She is the author of Holy Days: The World of a Hasidic Family (a New York Times notable book of the year), Rules of Engagement: Four American Marriages, and Tilting at Mills: Green Dreams, Dirty Dealings and the Corporate Squeeze. She has received numerous grants including ones from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Fund for the City of New York, and two from the Rockefeller Fund. She has been a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Lila Acheson Wallace Fellowship twice. Harris teaches in the Writing Program at Columbia University.

Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Andie Tucher

For the full interview, see it on Fiction Advocate.
Originally published on May 21, 2015.


In the second installment of her series of interviews with women who write nonfiction, E.B. Bartels converses with historian and journalist Andie Tucher.

Andie Tucher is the author of Happily Sometimes After: Discovering Stories From Twelve Generations of an American Family and Froth and Scum: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and the Ax Murder in America’s First Mass Medium, which was the winner of the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians. She served as a speechwriter for Clinton/Gore ’92, an editorial associate to Bill Moyers at Public Affairs Television, and an editorial producer of the ABC News documentary series The Twentieth Century. She currently teaches in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.


Together hiking the Appalachian Trail from April to October, 2015!

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