Editor Spotlight: Maya Sonenberg


Our Nonfiction editor for January and February is Maya Sonenberg. Her story collections are Cartographies (winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize) and Voices from the Blue Hotel. More recent fiction and nonfiction appear in Web Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. The Cupboard will bring out a chapbook of her prose and drawings in 2015. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Washington.





Why be an editor for The James Franco Review?

Because serious writers should be treated like movie stars.

Because who you know and what you’ve written before shouldn’t overshadow what you’re writing right now.

Because I hope quirkiness and daring will emerge when we’re all James Franco


A list of amazing books Maya has read in the last year:

100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl. If she weren’t already Sarah Ruhl, would these addictive gems have been published?

Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

Duplex by Kathryn Davis. That books this weird get published highlights what’s still right with the publishing industry.

Everyday Psychokillers by Lucy Corin

Gods without Men by Hari Kunzru

Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles. Essays about insects, real insects and insects as metaphors.

Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle

Misfits from the Beehive State by Kristin King. That this amazing collection of stories needed to be self-published highlights what’s wrong with the publishing industry.

Paradise of the Blind and Novel without a Name by Duong Thu Huong

Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduard Galleano

Stories of Your Life by Ted Chiang

The Elusive Moth by Afrikaans writer Ingrid Winterbach

White Girls by Hilton Als

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeannette Winterson. Heart-breaking and powerful. Nuff said.

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle, whose album Sunset Tree (with The Mountain Goats) is the best linked story collection I’ve ever listened to—or read.

Zona: A Book about a Film about a Journey to a Room by Geoff Dyer