Thursday, May 28, 2015

Model Minority

Mimi Wong's "Model Minority" is now available as a free read at Crab Orchard Review. Once the pdf of the full journal issue loads, scroll down to page 135. 


When war broke out in China, Sanie’s grandparents were forced to flee the province of Hunan. Gong Gong, as Sanie was to have called her mother’s father, came from a well-to-do family. Po Po had worked at a bank—a rare accomplishment for a woman back then and a sign of good education. They would not be able to carry their wealth with them as they ran, and so they buried their gold in hopes of recovering it one day when they could safely return home. They also bid goodbye to the other members of their families, assuring each other they would be reunited in the future. They died without ever setting foot in China again.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Zone by Mathias Enard

I've been reading Zone by Mathias Enard, tired sometimes and spacing out, but always some vivid description or series of incisive fused sentences (indeed) lures me back in. I'm experiencing it mainly as anti-war / anti-genocide and with some great literary references and anecdotes. Almost all of these, for better or worse, are to 20th Century European or American literature, but they are some fantastic ones, from Celine to the Beats and beyond.

So I recommend the book. It seems deserving of as many readers as Bolano, Knausgaard, and recent others from Europe whose longer works sold well in the states, yet the poor guy cannot even get a Wikipedia entry going.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Self-publishers only, need apply

Make way for a brick-and-mortar bookstore that only sells books by self-published authors!

Bring your own cushioned chair, brew your own coffee, read self-published fiction, hit the facilities, and, well, skip that, and then every six months, claim a large reserve against royalties or don't send yourself any at all!

It's literary paradise, with no wall of Knausgaard to smile at you on the way out the door.

On the other hand, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King, and Walt Whitman are among famous writers who self-published at least once, if not their entire work.

So feel free to free associate freely, and count the recent story of surveillance planes over Baltimore as proof that the authorities' publishers (read "New York") cannot be trusted. Indeed, they would censor away your very best sentences, so just like countless writers scribbling under the yoke of dictatorship in police states, your self-publication is insurrectionary literature (even if it has zombies in it).

So I'll just drive down to Florida, stroll into the store, and select my contemporary classic from current offerings on the shelf.

Welcome to literature, Gulf Coast!

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