Natasha Stagg’s debut novel, Surveys, seemed to arrive at exactly the right time. The tale of a young woman’s sudden ascent to internet fame and its accompanying obsessiveness was heralded as the first meaningful piece of literature about Generation Instagram (which was, interestingly, never the author’s original intention). Originally from Tucson, Arizona, and now living in New York, Stagg has worked in fashion (at V and VMan) and branding (the 2×4 design studio). She talked to Shumon Basar about the peculiar qualities of 21st-century life that populate her writings, and the increasing difficulty of simply being a self anymore.

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Shumon Basar Do you worry about the future? Do you worry about the past?

Natasha Stagg Of course I worry about the future,but mostly I’m worried that we’re all too stuck in our own experiences to be able to empathise with others, and that doesn’t seem to be getting easier. I’m worried that the past is brought up too often to justify the present, and that we can’t come up with new structures because we’re so dependent on old ones.

Click here to read the full conversation.