today i have a review of TAO LIN's EEEEE EEE EEEE at Bookslut
and an interview with Melville House's DENNIS LOY JOHNSON at Econoculture
i like reviewing and interviewing. it is a good way to make friends. i don't have any literary friends in atlanta. i don't know anyone who reads books in atlanta. i know a few people who buy books but i don't ever talk to them about reading.
i'm reading Robert Coover's GHOST TOWN right now. i bought it for $6 used because i like other things by robert coover and the back of the book said it was like him writing like cormac mccarthy on hallucinogenic drugs. i don't think it actually said that, but that's what it made me think it was saying. the book is pretty good. if i wrote this book and tried to sell it i would be told it was 'too bizarre'.
the first novel i wrote was originally called 'The Pupils of an Inflated Giraffe'. actually, it was the second novel i wrote, but the first that i could actually imagine trying to sell. i got an agent with the book, Rupert Heath, who i think is a very smart agent, and who isn't only looking for something marketable, but for good art also. i respect his opinion. rupert suggested i change the titled of the book to 'The Human Lottery' because the book was partly about a man who is employed as a human lottery ball. rupert shopped the book to 15 or so major houses. the basic response was: 'i really like this writing. i think it is smart and imaginative. however, it's a bit too fantastical for a first book from an unknown author. i'd like to see something less out-there from this writer.'
then i've been trying to write a novel that is less 'out there'. i begin with a premise that is based in real life, but somehow i always end up going way out. there is a tendency in me to turn everything to fucked. to write unsympathetic characters and have fucked things happen to them. to have the fantastical be as much as a part of the storyline as real things.
i wrote a third novel called 'YES I AM AWARE THAT I'M IN HELL' that was fucked and bizarre and about a divorcee who takes his son (who hates him) to disney world in the desperate hope of getting a job there.
that book did not quite work for me and was too bizarre again.
i am trying now, again, to write a novel that is less fantastical and less bizarre, and somehow i've ended up writing about a man accused of pedophilia.
i am going to continue writing books and have them eat the memory of my hard drive until there is no room left.