Dear Ben Greenman, About Your New Book…

BY Carolyn O'Hara  July 8, 2010 at 3:01 PM EST

Ben Greenman

Dear Art Beat Reader,

“What He’s Poised To Do” is a new story collection by New Yorker editor Ben Greenman. His stories are about letters — his prose often written as a letter — and explore the timeless human struggle of trying to connect to other people.

Greenman’s fascination with correspondence inspired his companion website Letters with Character, a home for “letters written to fictional characters by actual people.”

Other works by Greenman include the novel “Please Step Back” and the collections “Superbad,” “Superworse” and “A Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both: Stories About Human Love.” Read our interview conducted via letters (and one postcard), below.

Our letters were composed — by typewriter and hand — then scanned and emailed to each other. As Greenman wrote after the first exchange, it was as if “we invented a new kind of correspondence — letters aided by email, instead of letters obliterated by email.” In our case, we were aided dramatically; Ben’s first letter actually got lost in the mail.

Yours sincerely,

Zoe Pollock