Episode 9: Alissa Nutting

Host Rachel Yoder talks with music critic Jessica Hopper and author Alissa Nutting about everything from productive stalking and self doubt to parenting as a writer and early failed forays in poetry.


ALISSA NUTTING
is author of the short story collection Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, selected by judge Ben Marcus as winner of the 6th Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, and the novels Tampa (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2013) and Made for Love (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2017). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Fence, BOMB, Elle, The New York Times, Conduit, and O: The Oprah Magazine, as well as the fairy tale anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me. She holds an MFA from the University of Alabama and a PhD from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is currently at work on two television pilots. A former professor at John Carroll University and UNLV, she is currently an assistant professor at Grinnell College in Iowa.

MADE FOR LOVE

From one of our most exciting and provocative young writers, a poignant, riotously funny story of how far some will go for love—and how far some will go to escape it. 

Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but her only alternative seems even bleaker. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries, a monolithic corporation hell-bent on making its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. The world she escapes into is a far cry from the dry and clinical bubble she’s been living in, a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.

As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. His threats become more and more sinister, and Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all. Perceptive and compulsively readable, Made for Love is at once an absurd, raunchy comedy and a dazzling, profound meditation marriage, monogamy, and family.

Rachel