MGF: Who I’m Reading Now
Reading now? I just finished Marquez’s ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE, which blew me away. I can’t believe it took me this long to get to it. Earlier this summer, I read Ron Carlson’s book on fiction craft, RON CARLSON WRITES A STORY. It’s a great behind-the-scenes account of how a great short fiction writer puts a piece together. It’s like taking a class from the guy. Apparently at UC-Irvine, where Carlson teaches, his colleagues give him shit about the title, follow him around the hallways muttering, Ron Carlson walks down the stairs, or Ron Carlson sips from the water fountain. I once went to a reading by the fiction writer Paul Friedman, titled “I Don’t Claim to be Paul Friedman,” and I think he caught a lot of shit from his colleagues too. I’ve learned a lesson here.
I recently finished Michael Czyzniejewski’s short story collection ELEPHANTS IN OUR BEDROOM, which I really enjoyed. I read it in South Africa in a blue bedroom filled with shongololo centipedes thicker than broom handles. Elephantine, at least. I’ve also been trading books with a lot of people, so I’ve been checking out lots of poetry: Elizabyth A. Hiscox’s brilliant and devastating INVENTORY FROM A ONE-HOUR ROOM, Bruce Cohen’s DISLOYAL YO-YO, Jee Leong Koh’s EQUAL TO THE EARTH, Brent Goodman’s THE BROTHER SWIMMING BENEATH ME, Brian Young’s THE FULL NIGHT STILL IN THE STREET WATER, and Keith (KP) Liles’ SPRING HUNGER, which is great populist Alaskan poetry that pairs “mini cheeses squared” with a “moonshine contract,” and that the poet Linda McCarriston called, in praise, “Anything but cool.” I love that. Oh: and this August, I knocked out a wasp nest with my still-unread 9th printing 1937 hardcover copy of ULYSSES.
Tagged: 100 Years of Solitude, Brent Goodman, Brian Young, Bruce Cohen, centipedes, Elizabyth Hiscox, Jee Leong Koh, Keith (KP) Liles, Michael Czyzniejewski, non-fiction, Paul Friedman, praise, press, publicity, reviews, Ron Carlson, Ulysses