Black Lawrence Press
November 21, 2016

Welcome, Scott Shibuya Brown!

This month we are featuring the poets and writers who have signed with us in the past six months—all writers who submitted work during one of our two annual open reading periods.

Today we bring you Scott Shibuya Brown, whose novel The Traders will be published in November of 2017.

 

The Authorbrown-author-photo

Scott Shibuya Brown is the author of the novel Far Afield (Red Hen Press; 2010), and a former staff journalist at Time Magazine and The Los Angeles Times. His reporting, reviews, and photos also have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, The Kartika Review and The LA Weekly, among other publications. He has an MFA in Writing from CalArts and currently teaches at California State University, Northridge. He lives in Los Angeles, still plays in any number of punk and punk-inspired bands, and is currently working on a novel set in 1950s Japan.

 

 

 

Excerpt

How you do, my name is Cecil Po, I am 58 years in August.

For the long time, 19 years, my bookstall is at 182 Porridger Road, South District, Tandomon City, The Kingly Republic of Tandomon. Now it’s big enough yes, but when it started it was just an alley space between a bad-smell coffee stand and the hairdressers always full up with the Indo maids from the Atwells Lanes. But as time went by, the coffee shop got shut down when another mouse tail got found again in the coconut nian gao (unluckily by the council official), and after Tandomon changed over to being poor, the maids went away and the hairdressers’ put up blocks, too. And so then I advanced into their spaces for during this time the other booksellers also got plowed by the bad econ and I purveyed much inventory much quickly and cheaply. And so if the front to my shop looks appearance-same from then, inside I now have three spaces run together on top by a catwalk upon which I learned to commove very fastly and without devoting any too much thought. Ha!, and this name is funny to me for I do not regard cats so much for they bring me always bad luck.

But maybe you say I have bad luck, anyway. This might be true, too. Never I thought I go on being here twenty years. That would be like the jail sentence if you told me up top. I would have been very low or maybe even strike you if you would say this, for back then I desired only the single thing and that was to lock up myself in the prison of being a notable writer. So to this task I devoted many many hours and many many years, and overall I completed for myself several long books of careful pages. But like the child story of the girl with the Xiasi dog that just turn up its nose to food, all my tries got rejected from the book people. I joke to myself that sometimes my tries were rejected so fast the stamp paste on the envelopes was not yet dry. Now all the paste is dried-up and all my writings sleep underneath my bedframe and I forget about them.

But maybe you say I am in jail, anyway. Then again maybe you are right. Day after day I spend moving these piles of old books to here and there, shuffling hurting feet and trying to look busy when my customers arrive so they don’t think they have come into a cannot make it shop. And then they go away without buying not even the paperback and I have wasted my efforts for nothing. Other times they come in and ask me bushels of questions wanting this volume or that one for a cheap price, and when I don’t have or it is too much, they change to huffy and walk out with no words. Meantime, my stacks grow taller because when the persons come in with their don’t-want volumes and cannot get you to buy, they leave such behind anyway since no one likes to toss books. So now I am trapped wherever I move by the stacks of Mr. Robbins and Mr. Sheldon and Miss Collins because I cannot throw these away, either, and now they become even more like my jailers since I slave myself to find space for them and their fat bricks of rubbishy writings.

So this is my trade and my bookstall is named Gecko 8.

 

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