Author Essays, Interviews, and Excerpts, Books for the News, Literature

Case and Crispin on The Dead Ladies Project


Below is an excerpt from an interview conducted by the editor/novelist Mairead Case with Jessa Crispin, about Crispin’s forthcoming book The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries (publishing on September 22—my birthday, coincidentally). The two talk bathing rituals, auguring one’s future via hypothetically deciding whose role you’d play in the Odyssey, kitchen-adjacent and macaroni-sacrificing breakdowns, love, travel, jerks, and writing, among other things.


When do you not feel lonely?

There are moments.

I wish other people would write about loneliness more. It’s hard to remember that it’s not personal. That we live in a world that is built to make people lonely. That our society is structured around competition, so that we cannot connect we must always conquer. We are set up to think there is a finite amount of goodness in the world, and so if we are lacking in it it is because that bitch over there with the really good shoes is hoarding it. So it’s difficult to remember that your loneliness is not really about you and everyone has it.

So I try to remember that. It’s been a really long time, though, since I’ve been in a relationship that anybody else would recognize as a relationship, and that is hard. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a family where I could go back to if I were in trouble. But there are compensations. I have “family” scattered all over the world now, and no matter where I’ve lived I’ve always managed to have a dining room table crowded with others with full wine glasses and some divine hunk of meat steaming in the center. I am currently in a city where I don’t live, but I managed to cobble together a rowdy dinner party and I made pot roast with sour cherry couscous and we all drank too much wine and it went on until the next day, and it was wonderful. I was not lonely then.

Read the interview in full, here.

To read more about The Dead Ladies Project, click here.