Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Suggested Reading from KRWW and Beyond

As promised long ago by my still scattered brain, I am posting the reading list I garnered at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, along with some other links.

N.B. Some of these stories were required reading for the workshop (the first four short stories) and the rest came up in conversation as examples, suggestions for specific workshop participants or recommended reading for everyone.
  • "Twenty Minutes" James Salter, from the collection Dusk
  • "Mlle. Dias de Corat" Mavis Gallant, from collection Across the Bridge
  • "Lady with Lapdog" Anton Chekhov, from Lady with Lapdog, and Other Stories
  • "Wigtime" Alice Munro, from Friend of My Youth
  • Ester Stories (collection) Peter Orner
  • Child of God, Cormac McCarthy
  • Poetics, Aristotle
  • Patty Jane's House of Curl, Lorna Landvik
  • Tales from Morocco (connected shorts) Tony Ardizzone
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves (guide to grammar)
  • Underworld, Don Delillo
  • You Must Revise Your Life, William Stafford (although there was some contention as to the usefulness of this book on the list)

Should you be interested in a more poetic (and less self-centered) version of the events check out Parts I and II blogged on the Kenyon Review website by Kirstin Ogden.

Among other reads I feel are worthy of checking out is Barrelhouse online magazine -- and not just because I submitted something there just last night and they have the nicest, most succinct online submission form a mortal could conceive of -- because they have quite a bit of good online (read: free) content. Namely voice driven pieces of short-short fiction. Funny, brief, and to the point. Nothing long enough to bore you or make you click the back button. If you remember the name Barrelhouse, it's because they showed up in my suggested lit magazines post as a new-ish market highlighted by Poets & Writers - which oddly enough wasn't how I found them and their remarkableness.

Oh! And I came across a snippet of dialog I had written down from workshop betwen the workshop instructor and the workshop fellow. I could give the context, but it's almost more amusing without it, just imagine two people engaged in a very sincere conversation ...
Instructor: It might work better if you do gay.
Fellow: I can do gay.

Instructor: You don't have to do gay.
Fellow: No, I can do it.

I miss those people. Also priceless was Brad Kessler talking about how he has to sell his seven kids before he moves to Rome. He raises goats.

Highly Recommended