Doug Rice

Doug Rice is the author of Blood of Mugwump (selected by Kathy Acker as runner-up Fiction Collective 2 First Novel Award, 1996), Here Lies Memory (Black Scat Books, 2016), An Erotics of Seeing (Black Scat Books 2015), Das Heilige Buch der Stille (Solitude Press, Stuttgart, 2013, an original book, German translation by Nicolai Kobus), Between Appear and Disappear (Jaded Ibis Press, 2013), Dream Memoirs of a Fabulist (Copilot Press, 2011), Le Sang des Mugwump (French translation of Blood of Mugwump by Heloise Esquii, Desordres Laurence Viallet, Paris, France, 2007), Skin Prayer (Eraserhead Press, 2002), A Good CuntBoy is Hard to Find(CPAOD Books, 1998). He is the co-editor of Federman: A to X-X-X-X (San Diego State University Press, 1998). His fiction, memoirs and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including: Avant Pop: Fiction for a Daydream Nation, Kiss the Sky, The Dirty Fabulous Anthology, Alice Redux, Phantoms of Desire, Western Humanities Review, Zyzzyvya, Gargoyle, Fiction International, Discourse, 580 Split, and others. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2016).


In this episode, Arlan interviews Professor Emeritus at Sacramento State and Pittsburgh native Doug Rice, the author of “Here Lies Memory: A Pittsburgh Novel.”

Set in the 1970s, “Here Lies Memory” is centered around two Pittsburgh families and their struggle with trauma, love, and memories. The book explores what photographs and language do to people’s memories and how gentrification affects the souls of neighborhoods and the people who reside within them. 

In this episodes Rice discusses:

  • Why he wrote this book
  • How the concept of time affects his work
  • How living in California affected his ability to write about Pittsburgh
  • The importance of sharing the stories of the city
  • Why he structured the book as two parallel narratives
  • How his characters develop
  • The direction for the rest of the trilogy
  • How studying at Pitt affected his work

Mentioned This Episode


  • “You can feel things disappearing. You can feel people’s lives disappearing and being erased by gentrification. I think gentrification does something to the soul of the people. I don’t think it’s just about buildings. It’s not just about covering over buildings and redesigning cityscapes. I think it’s destroying the soul of the people and I think it’s a really, really harmful thing. – Doug Rice

“I write about people I really deeply love and I want to keep them alive.” – Doug Rice

Reach out to City Books

Doug studied creative writing with John C. Gardner (at SUNY-Binghamton). His work has been translated and published in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish. He holds a B.A. degree from Slippery Rock State College, a M.A. degree from Duquesne University, and studied for his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught creative writing and film studies at Duquesne University, LaRoche College, Kent State University and other universities.

He is currently working on “Daughters of These Rivers,” a second novel in a trilogy of novels called The Pittsburgh Trilogy. Watch the Shelf Life interview with Doug Rice here.

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