Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fight for Your Long Day: Classroom Edition

Hi Folks,

We're in the early stages of preparing a Classroom Edition of Fight for Your Long Day. It will be published by Hard Ball Press and will include the full text of the novel and additional essays on higher-education and contract-worker issues. It will also include author and other adjunct interviews as well as an extended listing of texts for additional reading. Feel free to share or please comment here, e-mail, tweet, or message me (I do check my "Other" folder at Facebook) if you have writing you'd like to offer or suggest for inclusion. Limited funds are available to pay for reprints or new material. Included articles will address student debt, adjunct narratives, labor organizing (pros and cons), impact of pay-per-course contracts on teaching, the denigration of literature, and more. I'm also interested in adding an essay that considers, as the novel does, the relationship between American contract work and the more global, transnational struggle of workers, with particular interest in educational and literary workers such as teachers, translators, reviewers, etc.

I'll edit this post as necessary.

Best of luck this fall.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Romanian hit

Over Fifty Billion Kafkas Served, with cover art by Nathan Holic, managed to sneak into the back cover (page 68) of a Romanian literary journal (left middle), but no one from the Carpathians has come to anoint, kill, or otherwise congratulate me on this success. . . so, tentatively, I'm uncertain of what this means or whether I should lay low, smile high, or merely continue with life's daily routines.





Sunday, August 16, 2015

#tbs: Rabbit Is 1979

In Rabbit Is Rich, John Updike wrote,

"Poor old Eagles out of their misery, Jaworski went down flinging" (498).

Rabbit Is Rich takes place in 1979 and includes quite a bit of Philadelphia, including a funny paragraph about suburban white folks getting lost in a part of West Philly near where I grew up. 

In my University City in 1979, I remember my father as in and out of work during the late seventies. Once we found five dollars near the corner of 44th or 45th and Larchwood or Osage, and instantly, my father knew this could be gas money to get us to Hershey Park. I can't remember if he held a job at the time. If you're here now, you've probably seen my earlier reports about searching for an affordable Christmas tree. I have hundreds of pages written about my father, most of it written as rough draft in 2002, about a year after he passed, and I hope to get more of it into print.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Exley, Almond, End Zone, and a 3rd round pick for Frank Gifford and future considerations

On Sunday, fittingly, I read that Frank Gifford passed on, and soon after that I googled to learn that many were commemorating Fred Exley's A Fan's Notes for helping keep the legend of Frank alive. Dylan Stableford's piece for Yahoo News captures many of the tweets that recognize Exley's contribution to Gifford lore, and quite possibly, of course, vice versa.

Earlier this summer I read Steve Almond's Against Football and learned that his favorite football novel was Don DeLillo's End Zone (I briefly evaluated the Almond at Goodreads). It's a very understandable selection, and it's also a shame DeLillo's "big books" often crowd out this early slim volume when it comes to shelf or blog space, but I was also disappointed Almond didn't mention Exley in the back section with DeLillo and other writers he acknowledged. So it was with some relief, even satisfaction, when I did see consideration of Exley in the middle of Almond's book. As you might imagine, I recommend all three books.

Since Gifford's passing, I've also considered how there is somewhat of an analogy between Exley's narrator (fictional Ex)'s relationship to Gifford and "Frade Killed Ellen"'s narrator Alan's relationship to Roger Frade (although Alan is no Alex, and Alex no Alan, not even in their dreams). In case that's not clear, what I mean is that Alan is to Frade as Exley is to Gifford. Anyway, I'd recommend my story too.

I may return to this to edit and add more.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

one-sitting reads

Both "Frade Killed Ellen" and The Betrayal of Times of Peace and Prosperity fall under the category of one-sitting reads, although increasingly, I find that I enjoy returning even to the shortest stories to consider them over several sittings, often rereading earlier passages, the beginning, etc.

But here are lists of classic short reads, longer novellas and short novels, one of "The 20 Best Novellas in the History of Mankind" and another of "17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting."

Some of my favorites that didn't make either list are Herman Melville's Benito Cereno, Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Yuri Olesha's Envy, John Fante's The Brotherhood of the Grape, Dan Fante's Chump Change, and Camera by Jean-Philippe Toussaint.




Saturday, July 18, 2015

Frade Sold Ellen

Frade Killed Ellen is available here and here.

It'll only set you back $2.99 and includes death, sex, innuendo, anxiety, mentoring, false starts, doubt, dope, the unexpected and more!

Yes, all of that in a mere 41 pages of e-text (about 35 manuscript pages on 8 1/2 x 11" paper).

I'm very grateful for any purchases, and please do get in touch if you'd like a review copy.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Rings of One-Star Reviewers

On a long plane ride from Shanghai to Chicago, I was mesmerized by an excerpt from The Rings of Saturn. It was an amazingly interesting read which included sustained narrative on Chinese empire and British aggression in the 19th century as well as a vivid portrait of the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne.

This evening, I surfed online to learn more about W. G. Sebald's book, and I see that the most recent Amazon review was posted almost exactly as I was enjoying the excerpt; alas, it's the classic one-star special: "A pretensious pile of rubbish. Paragraphs that stretches over pages... silly photos that will slow down the download... I prefer some dialogue in novels. If I really want to hear a long train of consciousness I would listen to my own."

No doubt, James Patterson is writing a sequel to Dante's Inferno, where one-star reviewers share an added circle in hell.

In other news, I'm happy to report that "Frade Killed Ellen" is now available thanks to Dutch Kills Press. I'm very grateful if you're able to support the writer and publisher by purchasing this 35-page e-single. Thank you. Follow this link for a teaser.