New Interview – Ander Monson – Full Stop

Few people in the literary community create as many fun and meaningful opportunities for writers as Ander Monson. From editing the magazines DIAGRAM and Essay Daily, to running New Michigan Press, to hosting an annual March Madness-inspired writing tournament dedicated to essays about music, Monson creates unique spaces for many writers of all stripes to share their work.

In his new book of nonfiction, Predator: A Movie, A Memoir, An Obsession (Graywolf Press, 2022), Monson explores the culture and fandom surrounding Predator, the 1987 action film starring eventual governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

Predator: A Movie, A Memoir, An Obsession shows what films, books, games, artworks, or sports can reveal through analyzing a thing and the culture around it. Even campy “big dumb movies,” as Monson calls them, offer entry points into deeper understandings of the self and others. When Monson explores why he’s obsessed with Predator, it’s an invitation to ask yourself why you’re obsessed with Slayer, or My Little Pony, or Keith Herring, or The Raiders. What does that obsession say about you? About others? What can an action film teach us about masculinity, violence, eroticism, fear, or love? When the book examines what Monson’s love for Predator reflects, or fails to reflect, about his values now and throughout his nearly life-long relationship to the movie, we can ask the same questions about our obsessions.

Read the interview here.

Purchase Predator: A Movie, A Memoir, An Obsession here.

Book Review – The People’s Porn by Lisa Z. Sigel

“The People’s Porn: A History of Handmade Pornography in America” by Lisa Z. Sigel offers several chapters, each with a focus on a different aspect of folk art, outsider art, and handmade crafts as they reflect sexuality. It’s my first review of a work of history, but I’ve always been extremely fascinated by material culture. My brother is an antique collector and dealer, so I’ve spent some time thinking about provenance and how history is embedded in artifacts. Honestly, I expected this book to be a bit funnier and more lighthearted than what I encountered, but it was more interesting for being deeper than what I envisioned.

Read my review here at Full Stop.

Get “The People’s Porn” from Reaktion Books.