Welcome to the third edition of Writers Answer Weird Questions, a new podcast at the Chicago Review of Books. Each episode, I meet up with a writer at an independent bookstore in Chicago to talk about their book — and ask a bunch of weird questions.
In this episode, I sat down with Jac Jemc, the Chicago-based author of The Grip of It, a new literary horror novel from FSG Originals. We met up at Open Books in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, and we forgot to take a picture together, so I’m afraid you’re stuck with the Photoshop monstrosity above. Tune in below!
On Making People Uncomfortable
“Fiction is a safe place to take chances. I like to make my reader uncomfortable, and I also, as a reader, prefer to be destabilized.”
On the Films and Books That Scare Her
“One of my favorite movies is The Orphanage. It’s really beautiful, and almost everything that happens seems totally possible. I really love The Shining, and have since I was a kid. I love House of Leaves, I can’t deny that. I love Shirley Jackson, and my favorite of hers is We Have Always Lived in the Castle.”
On Why the Other Contestants on The Bachelor Would Hate Her
I probably wouldn’t engage enough. I don’t know what the rules are around how much you can read while you’re on that show, but I would bring a lot of books and just go in my room and read.
Adam Morgan is the founding editor of the Chicago Review of Books and the Southern Review of Books. His essays and criticism have appeared in The Paris Review, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, and elsewhere.