Spent spring and summer on the hill and many hot afternoons in the ‘van catching up with friends and family. Also caught Lorrie Moore and Joshua Ferris reading at the Hay Festival which was brilliant!
This time here (our third summer) I’ve read a LOT: Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams; Richard Ford, Canada; Annie Proulx’s Bird Cloud; Paul Theroux on The Old Patagonian Express; Bruce Chatwin On The Black Hill; Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways; Kjell Askildsen, Selected Stories; Kyle Minor, In The Devil’s Territory; Don DeLillo – Americana; Anthony Doerr, The Shell Collector.
Currently reading (bad habit but yes, I do read several simultaneously): Lee Rourke’s Vulgar Things (captivating read in caravan!); Sarah Hilary’s debut crime novel Someone Else’s Skin (and my first crime novel); Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist; Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki; Joshua Ferris’s Man Booker shortlisted novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour; Kelly Link’s collection Pretty Monsters – and after I’ve been to the library tomorrow, the J. Robert Lennon collection, Pieces of the Left Hand.
Writing? Had a year of writing/drafting only – no editing no rewriting no submissions – to work out (again) what sort of a writer I am. It was scary to step back and not submit, and there were times when I nearly waded back in, but the year I spent working this out, will I hope, be worth it.
[Photo: Golesworthy’s window. 2014. Diane Becker]
“As soon as she’s organised, she walks onto the glass bridge and through the warm blue sky, her arms stretched out from her sides. People stare, and some throw her cranky looks because of all the space she’s taking up, but she doesn’t care. She twirls above the rush of water and inside the cool of clouds, gravity as good as gone.”
Extract from Ethel Rohan‘s second collection, Goodnight Nobody. Reviewed here (by me) for The Short Review.
So, Lydia Davis has won the 2013 International Man Booker Prize, fuck fuck fuckity fuck – now everyone will be reading her, and talking about her, and she won’t be my secret favourite short story author EVER anymore.
I ordered The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (Abe Books) after reading this review by Tania Hershman in The Short Review (originally posted in 2010), and this (beautiful hardback) collection is now a permanent fixture in the stack of books I keep by my bed.
I love Davis’s writing for its precision, its economy and because it defies categorisation. I love reading her because – among other delights – doing so has given me the freedom to experiment as a writer, to be myself and to define for myself what short fiction can be.
Congratulations to Lydia Davis, this is fantastic news for all readers and writers of short fiction, I will just have to learn to share you. [And I wish I was able to hear you read down the road at Hay Festival tomorrow but I have to take care of a very poorly elderly person instead.]
Other good news, my own this time, this week I have a very short story – Blind Spot – up at The View From Here. A small win for me!
Image: Land of the Unwell © Diane Becker 2013
New short short, Knots, up at The Postcard Press. Cheers Caitlin.
We’ve set up a dedicated Loose Wiring website for our text and image project. All past and future posts will be located there.
Loose Wiring is a collaborative and experimental (very) short fiction and drawing project that I’m working on with artist Mark Clements. The first few posts are over on my my new blog (here) and he’ll be posting them on his blog too.
Matthew Pitt’s debut collection Attention Please Now (Autumn House Press) is reviewed (by me) in the October 2011 issue of The Short Review.