This was a fun interview. Greg Hunter (interrogating on behalf of The Rumpus) asked a lot of good questions I haven’t been asked before. It definitely left me stumped a couple of times:
Rumpus: “Cozy Apocalypse” from Beta Testing engages with masculinity, and “masculinity in crisis,” more overtly than your other works, and I was wondering if masculinity was the starting point of that story—something you knew you wanted to tackle—or if it was something you found yourself tackling as you went.
Kaczynski: It was not the starting point, but it kind of became [the focal point]. Like, I didn’t really realize what I was writing until I was deeply into it. The story’s about a pending apocalypse, but there’s also these weird marital things going on. And I find that those two things can be intertwined: the twilight of masculinity and this apocalyptic imagining of our world falling apart. I think those thing must be unconsciously connected in the story. Now that you mention it, I’m like, “Oh yeah, duh,” but that wasn’t my primary exploration.
Rumpus: And I’m sure there are things at, as a reader, I look for and project.
Kaczynski: No, it’s good. Because most people, when they talk about that story, they talk about the apocalypse part of it. You’ve pulled out something else…which seems obvious in retrospect.
Read the whole interview here. Oh, and check out a 3 page preview of ‘Million Year Boom’ from the book.