Pigeon Pages Interview with Genevieve Hudson

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Do you have a bird story or favorite feathered friend?

A woman once told me that crows have the ability to recognize faces. If someone crosses them, they’ll remember the person’s face and seek revenge. She claimed that a crow in her neighborhood didn’t like her (not sure what exactly she did to it) and would dive at her face if she walked down its block. So, the woman had to avoid the crow’s block to keep from getting attacked by it. Crows are also problem solvers. If they want to open a nut, they’ll drop it in front of a car tire, knowing that the car will roll over the nut and crack it. Stories like that are fascinating to me. Plus, crows are dark and brooding and kind of goth, which I also love about them.

What is your most memorable reading experience?

In middle school, reading moved from a hobby to an obsession. The Catcher in the Rye was the first book I could not put down. It would stay in front of my face as I walked through the hallway at school. The novel sat on my lap during history as I tried to read without the teacher noticing. It had cast me under its spell. After that, books would regularly swallow me into their worlds and teach me things about myself and other people I might not have otherwise ever learned.

What makes you most excited about Pretend We Live Here?

I’m excited to have the collection out in the world and off of my computer, where it can live as a thing apart from me.

To tweet or not to tweet?

Reading other people’s tweets is more fun for me than composing my own. Twitter probably isn’t my genre, but I’m here for it.

What books do you have in your bag right now?

  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Aristotle’s Poetics
  • How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee
  • Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden
  • Vergeet de meisjes by Alma Mathijsen

Can you tell us your favorite rejection story?

My writing teacher in college once brought to class a moving box filled with slips of rejection letters he’d collected over the decades. He dumped the rejections out onto the floor in front of his desk. I’ll never forget that moment. He said: writing is hard. Many people will say no to you. If you want it bad enough, you keep writing anyway.

What literary journals do you love?

No Tokens is the bomb.com. The all-female editorial team continues to publish shiver-inducing work that means something on both a societal and sentence level. My other favorites include Tin House, Catapult, A Public Space, and Guernica.

What shakes your tail feathers?

Writing that reaches to the guts, that places a hand over a beating heart.

What advice do you have for fledgling writers?

Write all the time. Make it a habit. Consider your verbs and measure out each sentence. Read as much as you can and widely. Find what matters to you and dig.

What other eggs do you have in your basket right now?

I just finished writing a novel set in Alabama that’s about queer boyhood, religious extremism, toxic masculinity, and poison-drinking pastors.

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Genevieve Hudson is the author of A Little in Love with Everyone (Fiction Advocate, 2018) and the story collection Pretend We Live Here (Future Tense Books, 2018). Her writing has been published in Catapult, Hobart, Tin House online, Joyland, Lit Hub, No Tokens, Bitch, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by the Fulbright Program and artist residencies at the Dickinson House, Caldera Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. She splits her time between Portland, Oregon, and Amsterdam.