We interviewed over a dozen writers, artists, and social activists at the 2015 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Check out our interviews with Tavis SmileyCynthia BondKaren BenderRobert Putnam, and Octavia Spencer, and stay tuned for upcoming interviews with Lalo Alcaraz, Issa Rae, John Scalzi, Heidi Julavits, Rashad Robinson, and many more.

Mallory Ortberg is the co-founder of The Toast, a daily blog focused on humor writing and feminism. The blog also features Ortberg’s “Texts From” series — speculative text messages by historical luminaries — which spawned Ortberg’s recent collection Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters. In this interview with LARB’s Senior Humanities Editor Sarah Mesle (whose review of Texts from Jane Eyre you can read here), Ortberg talks about her influences growing up, her obsession with “Weird Twitter,” and why she considers herself to be the Tom Bombadil of feminism.


Sarah Mesle is the Senior Humanities Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books.