Tajja Isen on Finding the Voice She Needed to Write Her Personal Essay Collection
From Micro, a Podcast for Short But Powerful Writing
This episode is part of an interview series for Miami Book Fair, where members of Team Micro interview authors appearing at the fair about their work. For more information about MBF’s programming and to check out the incredible roster of authors appearing this year, visit miamibookfair.com. And be sure to follow them at @miamibookfair and #MBF2022 for more updates.
In this episode of Micro, Kirsten Reneau talks to Tajja Isen about her essay collection Some of My Best Friends: Essays on Lip Service.
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From the episode:
I honestly retreated from memoir for some time. Coming back to it for this book, it was really about finding the right voice. Sometimes you put something on the page and you’re like, oh, I’m not comfortable sharing that. But more than a matter of degree, I think it was because the book is so interested in this pattern that I’ve observed in so many areas of culture where different things suddenly started speaking in leftist language without backing that up with action, that provided a really useful lens for looking at my own experience and showing me how much of the personal I wanted to let in. And just absurdity of that setup also helped me find the very comic, accessible voice of the book.
Micro is edited and curated by Dylan Evers and produced and hosted by Drew Hawkins. Theme song is by Matt Ordes. Follow the show on Twitter at @podcastmicro.
Tajja Isen is the editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine and the author of the essay collection Some of My Best Friends: Essays on Lip Service. Braiding cultural criticism with personal narrative, the book is about how industries—like entertainment, media, and publishing—have gotten very canny about speaking the language of social justice but don’t always follow through.
Kirsten Reneau is a writer, teacher, and interviewer. She received her MFA from the University of New Orleans in 2021 and lives there now with her dog. Her personal work can be found online at http://www.kirstenreneau.com.