Last year, David Byrne showed up (hint).
We’re going with two short-short pieces by Ethel Rohan. They’re sort-of, kind-of, about leaving and returning to Ireland. We don’t normally run micro-fiction, but I had to go with it, this time.
Ethel was raised in Ireland and now lives in San Francisco. Her story collection, Cut Through the Bone, will be released from Dark Sky Books this December. A second story collection, Hard to Say, is forthcoming from PANK, in 2011. She blogs at ethelrohan.com.
One guy, a writer I’ve published, called me all sort of names.
This week, we have Leora Skolkin-Smith’s short story, “The Fragile Mistress,” which is an excerpt from the novel of the same name.
Provenance on this one is difficult: it’s an unpublished excerpt from a previously published novel (published by Grace Paley in 2005). That novel was called Edges.
The book has since been expanded to include other scenes that had been cut (you could call the newer version a writer’s cut, I suppose).
The novel was re-titled. Now it’s called The Fragile Mistress and will soon be published in the U.K.
Also, it will soon be a movie; it’s now in pre-production with Triboro Pictures and will be shot in the Middle East, along with New York and London.
Park-Lit has a simple concept: writers read from their work, outside, in a public park. At 6:30 on the 21st, Guernica (in association with Park-Lit) will be having a reading in Union Square Park. (On the south side, right in the thick of things, near the Washington statue).
Joshua Kors (nonfiction)
Terese Svoboda (poetry)
Alexander Chee (fiction)
More about the readers and who they are (they’re fabulous, by the way) at the Park-Lit site.
I wrote an essay recommending Samuel Fuller’s work. A portion of what I said:
“A Fuller film careers between drama and melodrama; it stars scene-chewing actors; is low budget, and has the subtlety of a machete. A Fuller film can start out being about one thing (such as in one of my favorites, Crimson Kimono , where it begins in a Noirish vein, with two cops investigating a crime in 1950s L.A.) only to veer off somewhere else (racism against Asians). Watching a Fuller film is seeing the unpredictable. It breaks the rules of “good” writing—and just goes for the jugular. Continue reading Cinema’s Beautiful Blowhard
Novelist Claire Messud (who was guest-editor at Guernica recently) led a panel discussion on women, diversity, and literature at the 6th annual PEN World Voices Festival of World Literature. I’ll let another Guernica writer Lorraine Adams sum up the event.
Here’s a film of the event, which was held at WNYC’s Greene Space, in lower Manhattan.
“It took some convincing to get me to read Norman Rush. I expected his first novel, Mating, to be an obvious cross between Saul Bellow and a Victorian romance. It took me a long time to realize this: that’s not such a bad combination.”
But first, I whine a bit about the Jakob juggernaut of years ago:
“Because of a former roommate, I shut the door on Jakob Dylan. While my roommate played Dylan’s hit, “One Headlight” repeatedly, I escaped to my bedroom where I could listen to something else. She sang random bars from his songs all day. She shattered the few quiet moments in the apartment to blather on about Dylan’s “cuteness.” Continue reading Jakob Dylan: “Women and Country”
November 14th, I’ll be at Page Turner, The Asian American Literary Festival. I’ll be introducing Guernica Guest fiction editors Amitava Kumar and Ganeshananthan, who will be conducting a reading, along with the writers who are featured in this week’s issue. the event will be held at Powerhouse Arena, the same place Guernica had its benefit (with David Byrne in the audience and Jonathan Ames on stage!)
I wrote about the the recent Caine Prize for African Writing award for the Guernica blog.
Spoiler Alert (not really, one could hardly be a surprised, I’d imagine, by what I wrote): I say that my favorite thing about the award is that the short story was unsolicited.
Read my essay about E.C. winning the Caine Prize for African Writing HERE
Read EC’s Guernica story HERE
Patricia Engel’s “Dia” explores the tension that can exist between “just friends” of the opposite sex.
I find him sitting on a plastic lounge chair by the hotel pool. I give a little wave and he stands. We kiss on the cheek. He tells me I’m taller than he remembers.
“The Question,” by Justo Arroyo translated from Spanish by Seymour Menton
“Such fiery pupils—your immediate reaction is to avoid them. But the old man knows it, and he keeps looking at you until you have no other choice but to return his look, even when the fire in his eyes forces you to recognize his existence, which is exactly what it’s all about.”
It’s called “A Meeting,” which is Korean slang for “group date.”
Marie Myung-Ok Lee is the author of the novel, Somebody’s Daughter. Her fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Witness, and TriQuarterly and has been short-listed for the O. Henry awards. Nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Washington Post. She is writer-in-residence at Brown University and also teaches there.
Do I need to mention once more that Esquire loves us?