Young, Mullany, Dalton, Antrim, Ourednik

Home again, cold again.

Mike Young’s first collection of stories, Look! Look! Feathers, is coming out from Word Riot Press in the Fall of 2010. I’ve read at least 3 of the stories that’ll be in there and many older ones, and they’re all great. This is going to be one to own.

Edward Mullany has a new blog, notes about permanent things, where he writes about the arts. He’s also blogging and tweeting for matchbook and generally taking over the internet.

I won a contest over at Big Other. Contestants were invited to write fake bios of the writers of the books they were giving away. My entry was as follows:

Trinie Dalton never had a chance, her poor heart weak-walled from birth. She wrote long books in bed on her desktop computer, keyboard in lap, staring straight out the window. Every half hour, Tina glanced at the monitor to her right to make sure it was still on. It usually was. The author of This Squirrel is Really Up to Something, Dolly Tinti slept and slept. The maid snuck Dilly’s hard drives to New York City and the rest, as they say, is as follows: Born in 1984, I wasted how many years praying to Trinity Dalton not knowing her claim to answer prayers was just the title of her 12th book. Who could fault Tiny Delton, though, with her itty deltoids that she swore would swell up like avocados after track practice but only she could tell? I’m asking–who? Her heaviest book, Call Me Guacamole Maybe, swept the Nobels. She got season passes to Dulles International and whenever she flew, strong chipper men whisked Duly Tutu past security, laughing nervously at the very idea of a frisk. Put me down, Dolly cried, loud enough to charm us all, too softly to hear.

Mine may or may not have been the only entry in my category, but it won, won, won. Her book, Sweet Tomb, is gorgeous. You can order it and others from Madras Press. I think all the money goes to a charity of the writer’s choice.

I felt sorry for Donald Antrim and all the fans Jack and I were going to pull away from his February 18 UMass reading and got our Green Street reading changed to Wednesday, February 17. You’re welcome, Don.

Uproarious hilarity aside, I would have been pretty disappointed to have missed Antrim’s reading. I just read The Hundred Brothers last week and it was amazing. Solid throughout, but those last 50 pages are killer. It’s the most organically climactic book I’ve read in awhile. The book also takes place in one scene, which makes it the third consecutive one-scene novel I’ve read (first Matchpoint, then Vox). It’s a natural form with a lot of potential. Also seems really hard to pull off. Makes me want to try to write one. Of the three, I think Brothers is the best, but I liked them all.

I also just finished Patrik Ourednik’s Europeana under the heavy recommendation of a number of people, and they’re all right. I don’t know when I last smiled so many times while reading a book. Probably not since Infinite Jest last summer. The story of our last century told in a headrush of convoluted,  self-contradictory, self-consciously naive yet all-knowing sentences. It’s political as hell but hard to pin down, avoiding all the pitfalls. It’s billed as fiction, but it’s closer to nonfiction than most nonfiction out there. Here’s hoping Gerald Turner translates something else of his and Dalkey Archive (or someone) has the good sense to print it.

8 thoughts on “Young, Mullany, Dalton, Antrim, Ourednik

  1. Matt says:

    I’m glad you dug Europeana so much. Dalkey’s doing another Ourednik book this year, so keep a lookout for it.

    I’m excited for Mike’s book too. Can’t wait.

  2. Gabe Durham says:

    That’s great news, Matt. I wonder what it will be like. The style of this book seems so wrapped up in the content that I’d expect another of his books to be completely different.

  3. Matt says:

    I don’t know for sure–I haven’t seen the book, obviously–but I’ll bet you’re absolutely right. I’ve heard something to that effect, I think.

  4. Pete says:

    Gabe, I also submitted a Trinie Dalton entry, but you won out. Big Other sent me Rebecca Lee’s chapbook from Madras instead, which looks great. I hadn’t realized you could perfect-bind a book of just 30-something pages.

  5. John Madera says:

    Yes to Europeana! And have you read Gerald Turner’s translation of Michal Ajvas’s The Other City? It’s a wonderfully baroque short novel.

  6. Gabe Durham says:

    Matt – PS: You were one of the recommenders who reminded me I wanted to read it.

    Hi Pete – Not surprised to here the Rebecca Lee chapbook is just as good-looking. The proportions of the book make me feel like I’m going to read the extended liner notes to an indie folk band’s box set.

    John – I haven’t heard of that–just went and requested it from the library. Thanks, by the way, for the Flux album. Looking forward to giving it a listen.

  7. mike young says:

    thanks for the shout-out, bro. you are the king of awesome!

  8. Gabe Durham says:

    Mike, I’m excited for when your fiction starts to get as much attention as your poetry. Dennis Cooper will have to do a Mike Day part 2.

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