Tag Archives: Deb Olin Unferth

The Gather Round Children Variety Post

It’s a hard time for everybody: Can we agree, then, to just give links this year?

Jack Christian started a blog, Precious Document. He’s just giving away poems that appeared in sweet print journals like Black Warrior Review. His questionable business moves are America’s gain.

You can watch the first episode of Flight of the Conchords, Season 2, at Funny or Die. It’s good.

Also funny: New Stella Short

If you can get your hands on McSweeney’s #29 (the new one), read the first story, “It’s Nice When Someone is Excited to Hear From You,” by Brian Baise. It’s fantastic. A detestable narrator whose detestability  isn’t immediately identifiable and never redeems himself exactly, but complicates himself enough not to be hatable. Voicy without tricks.

My mom and Ed got me a 2-year subscription to Quick Fiction, and I’m halfway through the new one. Lots of gems in this gorgeous little book. So far, my favorite is “The Torturer…” by Michael Thurston. There’s also a nice one by Anthony Varallo, who had a very funny story in the issue of Fugue I read a couple of weeks ago. So he’s on my radar now.

Michael Ocean shreds on his custom telecaster: Paranoid Android

Michael Young shreds on his custom keyboard.

Deb Olin Unferth did a Daytrotter reading. Her voice is different, higher, than I’d imagined. I like it.

Damien Jurado also did a Daytrotter session, including a nice morose rendition of “Ohio.”

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Dogsitting

Because of a dog, I spent last week in a house with lots of good books in it. I picked up a handful of short story collections and read the first story in each. Here are the ones I liked:

“Escapes” by Joy Williams – from Escapes – Magicians, alcoholic Mom, daughter learning to close herself off out of self-defense. This is my first Joy Williams story. There has been a lot of Joy Williams buzz in my life this year. I want to read a novel of hers.

“I Dream of Microwves” by Imad Rahman – from I Dream of Microwaves – It’s hilarious and original and grounded in desperation. But then this review made me think that maybe it’s good that I only read the opener. But it sounded like the reviewer’s tastes are pretty different from mine, so I don’t know.

The Faerie Handbag by Kelly Link – from Magical Thinking – I found it online for you! Link edits Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and lives where I live. I want to submit to LCRW now.

Sickos by Deb Olin Unferth – This one I read online.

“The Great Divide” by Charles D’Ambrosio – from The Dead Fish Museum

“The Disappearance of Elaine Coleman” by Steven Millhauser – from Dangerous Laughter – I liked the “struggling to remember her” stuff more than the “we made her disappear by ignoring her” stuff.

And then I read the “New Stories” section of Raymond Carver’s Where I’m Calling From. It’s great. It’s like an extension of Cathedral. Except for that last story, “Errand,” which reads mostly like a solid New Journalism piece on Chekhov and makes no sense at the end of the book that sums up the man’s career.

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