The WORD Interview: Pasha Malla

April 27, 2009

pasha_mallaThis Wednesday night, we will host our next Indie Press Night with with Soft Skull Press. We’ll hear from two writers with books recently published by Soft Skull: Zachary Mexico (China Underground) and Pasha Malla (The Withdrawal Method).

Pasha, who has written for Nerve and Salon among other publications, has written a collection of short stories in The Withdrawal Method that have been praised as “splendidly creative” (among other glowing reviews.) He recently took time out to answer some questions for us, and did splendidly with that as well!

Read on to see what Pasha said in his WORD Interview with us — and be sure to stop by the store Wed., April 29 at 7:30 to hear him and Zachary read from their new books!

1) Do you have a favorite WORD?


2) What WORDS do you live by?

None in particular, although I really like this (from WB Yeats’s introduction to Pound’s book about Japanese theater): “I love all the arts that can still remind me of their origin among the common people, and my ears are only comfortable when the singer sings as if mere speech had taken fire, when he appears to have passed into song almost imperceptibly. I am bored and wretched … when he seems no longer a human being but an invention of science.”

3) What was the last book you read?

Just this morning I finished Jean-Phillipe Toussaint’s The Bathroom, which was okay, and Javier Marias’s Dark Back of Time, which blew my mind. (That probably sounds impressive but I only had like 6 pages left in each; I’m a pretty slow reader.) Oh, and yesterday on the subway I read Zachary Schomberg’s collection of poems, The Man Suit — so awesome!

4) Any idea what you’ll read next?

My friend John Goldbach’s new story collection, Selected Blackouts, and Lewis Mumford’s The Culture of Cities. Before bed I’ve been working my way through some Grace Paley stories and really digging them.

5) What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?

Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene, for my friend Kevin. It’s one of my favorites.

6) Where did you buy it?

The Strand — is that a wrong answer? Going there was his idea, I swear.

7) Do you have a favorite spot in Greenpoint?

Whatever bar I go to with my friend Tom. I forget the name, but if aliens were dropped onto the planet and you wanted to show them what the word “bar” mean, this is the place: no frills, just a bar, some spots to sit, good beers, hoops on the TV, and friendly folks.

8) We read that you like basketball a lot. Do you have any pointers (or  reading suggestions) for participants of the upcoming inaugural season of  the WORD basketball league?

Yeah, go play pick-up with teenagers at the Tillary Street courts in downtown Brooklyn! These kids have the time of their lives every weekend; you can learn a lot from how much they enjoy the game, even when they’re making you look stupid. And as for reading, check out FreeDarko’s new(ish) Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac — very fun. How do I join your league?

Ed. notes: We have the FreeDarko book in stock, as well as copies of Pasha and Zachary’s books. Our book-lovers basketball league is already full for this summer, but we expect to start an “honorary authors” membership!

2 Responses to “The WORD Interview: Pasha Malla”

  1. jmcc Says:

    “as if mere speech had taken fire” what a great quote! and a fantastic interview all around – I’ll have to look into those titles

  2. […] WORD Interview In interviews on May 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm An interview with Pasha at WORD in anticipation of his previously-mentioned reading there in April. In the interview he states that […]

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