A Brief Interview with Thomas Barber
Could you tell me a bit about the latest writing project you've been working on?
Trane. The novel I'll be reading from at Difficult to Name. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to take a year off teaching to work on the book. I bought a van and traveled across the US researching and writing, and it was the most remarkable experience. Waking everyday a writer. I've spent the past year back in NY; second, third, and fourth drafting it with the help of a few good readers. I've just recently begun outlining my next novel, which I hope to start writing this summer.
In addition to being a writer, you also teach college students. What has that process been like?
Teaching came from writing. I quit a corporate job and moved to NY when I got accepted into an MFA program. I came here to be a novelist, I never imagined I would teach. But I was broke and my school had a good adjunct-training program that paid. I was accepted my second year. When I graduated I knew enough adjuncts teaching at other schools that I got interviews and jobs and have made it work ever since. I'm still chasing plan A, but I also really like teaching. I didn't expect to like it this much. What a gift.
What can people expect from your reading?
A fun, fast burst, and then it will be over. I'm reading an excerpt from my novel where the protagonists are driving into Detroit for the first time. I hope the reader feels inside the car, as shocked and uncomfortable as the characters, and as hopeful.