Improv and Inversion: A Feature with Marie-Helene Bertino, Author of 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas

Several chapters into 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas, a jazz ensemble steps onto the stage. They proclaim themselves to be a Cuban band, straight off the plane, gracing this stage for one night only. They are not. They are locals, American men dressed in baggy Cuban shirts, fake accents pressed through dirty microphones. The audience does…

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Marie-Helene Bertino, Interviewed by D.M. Hedlund

Marie-Helene Bertino’s debut novel 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas was a Barnes & Noble Fall ’14 Discover Great New Writers pick, an NPR Best Book of 2014, and a Best Book of the Year at Flavorwire, Buzzfeed, Popsugar, The Kansas City Star, and others. Her collection of short stories Safe as Houses received The 2012 Iowa Short Fiction Award. Marie-Helene’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Epoch, Granta, Guernica, Gulf Coast, Time Out New York Magazine, North American Review, Gigantic, Mississippi Review, Inkwell, The Indiana Review, American Short Fiction, Five Chapters, West Branch, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Storyville, The Common, and anthologized in Mississippi Review’s Anthology 30, Gigantic’s The First 5 Years, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology XXXIII. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at NYU.

D.M. Hedlund published her first novel, Threads of Deception, at the age of eighteen. Experiencing the difficulties of breaking into the market, she founded TBL in 2007 to help other new writers perfect and publish their works. Offering free writing coaching, editing, and publishing guidance, Hedlund expanded TBL into a global community of writers, editors, and artists. In 2010, she pushed the company to new heights, creating TBL’s literary journal, Tethered by Letters Quarterly Literary Journal which has since evolved into F(r)iction Series. When not working with the TBL staff, Hedlund spends her days writing, consuming an ungodly amount of caffeine, and binge-reading comics.

Kelsi Jo Silva

Kelsi Jo Silva is a Denver-based illustrator with a degree in illustration from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. She has a passion for visual storytelling and strives to bring the stories of authors to life through whimsical illustration. Check out more of her work at

First Featured In: No. 2, summer 2015

F(r)iction #2

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