Microinterview: Alexander B. Joy

Alexander B. Joy’s 100 word microfiction, “Prophet Margin”, will appear in the third issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 2, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2021). Alexander graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.

Alexander B. Joy

1. What inspired the story “Prophet Margin”?

The title came to me first – a silly pun sprouting from disdain for religion and capitalism. The story cohered around those two words as I focused on their definitions.

2. What inspires you and your writing?

New ideas occur to me every waking hour. They haunt me if I don’t put them to paper. For me, writing is a daily act of exorcism.

3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?

Spite. I think of all the forces, systems, and people who’d benefit if I gave up. Then I consider how enjoyable it would be to stick it to them.

4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?

Given microfiction’s stringent word limits, the premise has to do most of the story’s heavy lifting. Try to cast your story as an elevator pitch. Can you hit all of its notes in a sentence or two? If you can, you’ve already written the first draft. From there, it’s a matter of editing and polishing.

5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?

In the nonfiction world, I write about aesthetics, literature, and film. I’m a co-author of A Plague for Our Time: Dying and Death in the Age of COVID-19, forthcoming from McFarland and Company.


Alexander B. Joy holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His prose has previously appeared in The Atlantic, Critical Read, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. He lives and works as a curriculum editor in his native New Hampshire, where he spends his leisure time reading philosophy and writing haiku. Twitter: @aeneas_nin.


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