What has it been like being longlisted for the National Book Award?
Oh my God; I just didn’t see it coming. Waiting for the book to come out is such a heavy process — hoping people like it but trying not to stay too invested in that. The book is so new, I haven’t really had time to consider more than, do I feel like I’m done with it, and it’s as good as it can be.
It would be hard for me to convey how it felt, to me, a former young man who wanted only to become a writer, to have that happen with this book. It’s incredible. I still can’t believe it.