Matthew Salesses is the author of our second book, Our Island of Epidemics, and two excerpts from that book (YOU WANT IT) are included in the September issues. He starts with us about the genesis of the project, where we are now, and strange things to end hunger.
1. How did you get started writing the Island series?
The more I think about this, the more I think I stole the idea from a movie. Except I wondered what it would be like if more “diseases” kept coming. I wrote one short a day while revising the novel I’m still working on, to do on something different. I cut one short and revised the others a few times, and then debated all kinds of things before deciding I wanted to create a hypertext and a chapbook with the stories.
2. What Island of Epidemic are we all on now?
The island wasn’t meant to be allegory, just a way of exploring the human condition. But if I were to say the US was infected by an epidemic, that epidemic would be the same as the true epidemic of the island: denial.
3. What is the strangest thing you’ve eaten to make your hunger stop?
I’ve eaten a lot of strange seafood that wouldn’t seem strange to Koreans, but the best sensation is wriggling octopus legs that suck onto your tongue as you eat them.
4. If you could make someone’s organs explode, who would you choose?
5. Whose heart would you eat?
New York’s. But in a good way.
6. What are you going to do once you’re off the island?
Get a book published about the island and rub it in the islanders faces.