Anyone want to tell me about their dog?
Would you like to interview for The Believer?
John Bowe, journalist and editor of oral histories (GIG: Americans Talk About Their Jobs; US: Americans Talk About Love) is looking for an Army of The Curious to fan out and interview people about their dogs for his next oral history project, WOOF: Americans Talk About Their Dogs.
We’ll be publishing these interviews in the magazine and online, and we would like to invite you to collaborate with us.
If you know someone who killed their brother over a dog, or drained their bank account for a dog—or anybody who was motivated by a dog to go through something emotionally weird, transformative, or extraordinary—contact us. Even if you don’t know anybody yet, we welcome you to begin searching…
WOOF will be a team endeavor. The more diverse the interviewers and interviews, the better the book will be. Collaborators will be paid a not-huge sum, get a byline (in the Believer and in the final book), and will have a chance to learn a lot about the art of interviewing, journalism, and editing.
If you would like to help by conducting interviews, transcribing or editing, or if you simply have questions, please contact John Bowe (firstname.lastname@example.org). To familiarize yourself with some of his previous oral history work, look here.
I was born in 1964; I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo, moon landings, zillions of TV ads, the Banana Splits, M*A*S*H, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was born with words in my mouth—“Band-Aid,” “Q-tip,” “Xerox”—object-names as fixed and eternal in my logosphere as “taxicab” and “toothbrush.” The world is a home littered with pop-culture products and their emblems. I also came of age swamped by parodies that stood for originals yet mysterious to me—I knew Monkees before Beatles, Belmondo before Bogart, and “remember” the movie Summer of ‘42 from a Mad magazine satire, though I’ve still never seen the film itself. I’m not alone in having been born backward into an incoherent realm of texts, products, and images, the commercial and cultural environment with which we’ve both supplemented and blotted out our natural world. I can no more claim it as “mine” than the sidewalks and forests of the world, yet I do dwell in it, and for me to stand a chance as either artist or citizen, I’d probably better be permitted to name it.
—Jonathan Lethem, “The Ecstasy of Influence,” Harper’s