Justin Torres on the Lit Show

Last week, Justin Torres, a 2010 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, returned to Iowa City to read from his debut novel We the Animals. Before his reading at Prairie Lights, Torres appeared on the University of Iowa radio station KRUI's program The Lit Show to discuss the book and its path to print. The talk took place from 2-3 PM on September 21st.

"The book is a meditation on a pronoun: we," writes Joe Fassler, host of The Lit Show. "Three brothers move as one through a rundown town in Upstate New York, their six arms throwing rocks, hurling open-palm slaps, pulling close in a fighting, biting embrace.

Their parents, Ma and Paps, had them at fourteen and sixteen. Their tumultuous relationship bursts with laughter and sobbing and long, unexplained disappearances. While the boys look on in anguish and wonder, their parents kiss each other with their fists--and with their kisses, they wound."

Torres' fierce vision of childhood has garnered high praise in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. His fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Tin House, and elsewhere. We the Animals has recently been reviewed in The Onion's A.V. Club.