The Reluctant Read

Have you ever read a book you were certain you would despise? Someone forced it on you, for one reason or another—the teacher of a college class or a kindly but pushy relative—and every ounce of you resisted. You took the loathsome lump of a novel in your hands and a frown unfolded from everyContinue reading “The Reluctant Read”

The Case for Lilac Prose

Dear literature lovers, have you grown sick of simple sentences? Deadened to the doldrums of dry, dusty prose? Benumbed by the banal? You’re not alone. I, and at least one other guy, agree with you. And after all, don’t we have a right to be upset? These days American literature has taken on the drabContinue reading “The Case for Lilac Prose”

The Power of Imagination Against Oppression

Why do we read literature? No, really, why? Good literature goes beyond entertainment—it reaches down into the core of us and jerks us back into the heart of the world, into the heart of humanity, into the whirling depths of the human soul. That is what we need to remember. Azar Nafisi, author of ReadingContinue reading “The Power of Imagination Against Oppression”

Strutting Across the Author Platform

This is a big one everybody. Get ready. Don your chunky yellow hard hat and your white paper mouth masks and the oversized plastic goggles that make the rounds of your eyes expand to the size of fish bowls. You ready?  You good? Because this is explosive. Drumroll, everyone… I JUST PUBLISHED MY NOVEL!!!!!!!!!!!! TELLContinue reading “Strutting Across the Author Platform”

Read “Accident” by Etgar Keret

In India, there are Hindu women who shave all of the hair from their heads. These religious pilgrims—many of them peasant women—offer up their long, black tresses as a religious sacrifice. It is an opportunity to both renounce the ego and express gratitude for the blessings they have received from the gods. Later, the locksContinue reading “Read “Accident” by Etgar Keret”

Read “Birnam Wood” by T. Coraghessan Boyle

My aunt learned to read tarot cards in college as a party trick. Now, every New Years when she comes to visit, she’ll pull out her stack of cards from their purple velvet pouch, shuffle them between her long-nailed fingers, and lay them out in a Celtic Cross spread across the floor in front ofContinue reading “Read “Birnam Wood” by T. Coraghessan Boyle”

On Writing Bad Fiction

I just wrote a  bad story. A 26-page disaster of a story, to be specific. Now that I’ve come to the end of it, now that it’s all been punched out—I’ve come to realize that the whole thing is one enormous, colossal piece of crap. In the story, “Parade,” two couples—four vapid and awful people—wanderContinue reading “On Writing Bad Fiction”

The Good Life, Whatever It Is and Wherever It Happens to Be

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the ‘good life’, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.” ― Hunter S. Thompson I spent thisContinue reading “The Good Life, Whatever It Is and Wherever It Happens to Be”