FRIDAY WAS THE BOMB: AN INTERVIEW WITH ESSAYIST, JOURNALIST AND DEBUT NONFICTION WRITER NATHAN DEUEL
THE WRITER'S JOB - 7 MAY 2014
The product of several years’ worth of hard living in the Middle East, Nathan Deuel’s debut collection of essays, Friday Was the Bomb, was just published this week from Disquiet, a division of indie powerhouse Dzanc. Deuel’s essays have been appearing all over the web and in print media for years (New York Times Magazine, Harper's, GQ, The New York Times, The New Republic, Financial Times, The Paris Review). I spoke to him about the circumstances in which he wrote and lived the stories in this book, and the collection’s charmed (but deserved!) path to publication.
Jake Zucker: I think the most ominous single line in the collection is from the first chapter/essay: “In the beginning, Iraq had seemed like the center of the universe.” Was it always the center of your writing universe? You write about your experience editing content about the War in Iraq, but was it inevitable that you’d personally write about it too, in some way?
Nathan Deuel: 9/11 completely defined my life as an adult. Prior to that, there was this ambient hunger for the kind of urgency and import that a previous generation had because of Vietnam, and World War II before that, and the Depression before that, etc. (The Civil Rights Movement is and was also very worthy but was more of a domestic cause to rally around.) With 9/11, my generation very quickly was handed an organizing principle, whether we liked it or not.