I was a fan of the many stories written by James Tadd Adcox in magazines like Triquarterly, [PANK], and Smokelong Quarterly long before I actually met him. Many of these stories were collected in the book The Map of the System of Human Knowledge, published by Tiny Hardcore Press. In the past few years I’ve gotten to know Tadd, not necessarily best-friends-kinda-well, but more-than-acquaintance-well, as he’s visited friends and family in Atlanta. And it was on one of these visits a few weeks ago that we sat over burgers and beers in Midtown to talk about his books and about writing in general. I had read Map, which I loved, and about which I had many a question. Tadd also sent me excerpts from his novel. We talked about those books, of course, as well as fiction forms: flash fiction, the short story, the novella, the novel; the aesthetics of the sublime versus those of the beautiful; Facebook and Facebook addiction; deactivating Facebook; graduate school; teaching fellowships; teaching literature versus creative writing; taxonomy as a structure for fiction; “the novel is dead”; failed love; and alligators and pirate ships. Since the interview was conducted live, it is by far the longest interview yet published at Atticus Review. In my transcribing and rereading of all that we discussed I found that James Tadd Adcox is full of interesting words. He may say that he would rather just hangout and talk about books than be an actual “teacher,” and that makes him probably the perfect teacher.
In This Issue: