Just back from the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork, Ireland. The city sponsors this great fiction fest--five days of readings, panels, and the best after-reading parties anywhere (I know, I've attended/crashed many a Lit party). I went to do a reading and a panel, but, more importantly, I was there to scout out good reading for the Moe's customers. Readers included Tess Gallagher and Ben Greenman, Dutch sensation Nyk de Vries, and also a few writers that may be new to you. Check out Mattaponi Queen by Belle Boggs (Graywolf Press) and St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Vintage) by Karen Russell. Fresh new writing--funny, human, lots of depth.
O/R press doesn't like to sell to bookstores. They're a download/print
on demand outfit, but unlike the others in this category they publish
established authors--and high quality books. I had to contact them to
order copies of Eileen Myles new novel Inferno.
Troubling to a bookseller--especially since books like this are what
keep Indy stores in business, and separate us from the chains. Excuse
me while I rave about this book: Inferno should, could, may, be a book
of On The Road proportions. Admittedly I'm a sucker for the
young artist comes to the city to find fame/love/a place in history
novel. I've read Balzac's Lost Illusions three times. But, really, Myles tells the old story very well. Mostly she's a poet, with an ear that's as good as Kerouac's.
Read this book, there are sentences that will carry you to another
planet--really! And please, treat it the way you would treat (did
treat) On The Road. Buy the paperback (at a bookstore!), put
it in your "rucksack", beat it up, buy a second copy for a friend. If
this book doesn't inspire a generation I may lose hope for American
OK, Benjamin Whitmer is a "stable mate". We're both published by PM Press in Oakland. But--he's written one of the toughest noirs around. Pike
is fast and hard, but it also has heart. Like all the PM Press titles
there's a political thrust--but it doesn't get in the way of the
action. Benjamin will be reading around the bay area
in October, and will be at the Bouchercon mystery convention over at the
Embarcadero Hyatt. He's reading at the Moe's post Bouchercon
party--labeled Hardboiled for Hard Times--October 18th.
(reposted from 9/29/2010)