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Interviews Literary Fiction

Interview with Kris Saknussemm

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In January 2006 I met with ZANESVILLE author Kris Saknussemm outside Readings Bookstore on Lygon Street in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia.

I’ve been a heavy user of the Internet for about 11 years now and I have met hundreds of people online. Kris is the first person I actually had the courage to meet in person. I still felt dodgy, hanging around outside the bookstore waiting for him. I had no idea at all what he looked like. Despite the press clippings I had collected, a photograph of the author remained elusive. I mused to myself that perhaps Kris was Clearfather himself, a master reality hacker who creates his own past and controls his own future.

Zanesville sure hacked my mind, its thoughtware continued to alter my perception for many days after putting the book down. I felt I knew him and what to expect but I had no idea who he was. Other guys who looked like writers were hanging around outside the bookshop as well; I just could not bring myself to approach and ask – hey man, are you Kris? Too dodgy for my liking. Thankfully I was not waiting long when a guy who I had never seen before but looked very familiar walks on up and says – are you Brentley? – o good, lets go eat. A few weeks earlier I received an email from him saying that he thought Retort Magazine was cool and would I like to have a look at his new book ZANESVILLE. Of course I would, that crazy duck on the website freaked me out. Besides, who can resist the catch line from an advertisement I had seen – Better to lose an election than an erection! After many lengthy email discussions we agreed it would be cool to meet next time he was in town, and after embarking on his hyperactive neuron altering text I was looking very forward to the opportunity.

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