Dennis Norris II (’15) Interviewed by Rion Amilcar Scott (’13)

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Smoke and Mirrors: An Interview with Dennis Norris II

Your story, “Daddy’s Boy,” devastated me when I first read it, flooded me with discomfort. I had to step away and think about it, come back to it and read it again and then sort through competing emotions: admiration, disgust, sympathy. What sort of effect were you hoping to achieve with this story?

Well first, thank you so much for saying that, and for your kind words regarding “Daddy’s Boy.” This is a really satisfying question to consider because it tells me that as a reader this story asked you to work to receive it. Which is exactly the effect I’m hoping to achieve with everything I write. When I’m reading, the stories and novels that impact me the most allow me to work in partnership with the writer–in a very intimate way–and in that relationship, our combined efforts make the reading experience worthwhile. I hope a reader will return to my work, will need to do so, and will find something new, or deeper, or more challenging with each read, the same way that I do with the stories and novels that I hold most dear. But that means I have to do my part and deliver that story, which as I’m sure you know, is really hard to do.

Read the rest of the interview here: Rion Interviews Dennis