A Brief Interview with Thomas Barber

Thomas Barber will be reading at DTN on April 8th at Study Hall Gowanus.

Thomas Barber will be reading at DTN on April 8th at Study Hall Gowanus.

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.