Noy Holland’s Swim for the Little One First

Noy Holland’s new collection of short fiction, Swim for the Little One First, came out in September. I would like to encourage you to buy it and read it. I read the first page, and, despite my enormous stack of books-in-progress, I felt compelled to read the rest, immediately. Maybe you will, too:

Rose called.

I said, “Hello, Rose.”

“You sound funny.”

I was lying on my back with my legs in the air trying to make a baby with my mister. I had his seed in there. My poor egg had slipped out to meet it.

“Can’t you come out here and help me?” Rose pleaded. She had bunions. She had busted her elbow stirring oatmeal.

I was busy. My mucous was of a quality. I had just the least clutch of eggs left out of the millions I got when I started.

“Get off,” my man said, “and I’ll do it again.”

“Is that Tonto I hear?”

Tonto snorted. “She’ll talk all day if you let her.”

But maybe you need more convincing. Continue reading

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Special Bastille Day Soda Series this Thursday July 14th

Join us for our special Bastille Day edition with Mary Caponegro, Tim Horvath, and Gary Lutz. Soda Series     Facebook RSVP

Mary Caponegro is the author of the short story collections Tales from the Next Village, The Star Cafe, Five Doubts, The Complexities of Intimacy, and All Fall Down. She is the Richard B. Fisher Family Professor of Writing and Literature at Bard College. William Gass said of her work, “The music of Mary Caponegro’s stories is to the mouth what wine is. Readers will find themselves lost among answers, intoxicated, knowing only that these are stories unlike any others before or since, which is, for this reader at least, a relief, a challenge, and a godsend.” Excellent interview in Six Questions.

The Review of Contemporary Fiction called Tim Horvath’s first book, Circulation (sunnyoutside 2011), “perfect for an afternoon of quick rumination,” and the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene wrote, “The casual reader and the bibliophile will love this book. It traces men’s lives through their obsession with books and arcania … Highly recommended.” Magazine publications of Horvath’s work include Fiction and Everyday Genius. Tim’s website

Gary Lutz is the author of three short-story collections: Stories in the Worst Way, I Looked Alive, and Partial List of People to Bleach. A fourth, Divorcer, is forthcoming from Calamari Press. Lutz has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. His seminal lecture, “A Sentence is a Lonely Place,” is at The Believer. Also available is the recent interview he gave on Big Other.

Reader Rage, Henry James Hate

Henry and Edith Wharton (seated) at the turn of the century. The man on the right is covering a sign that says, "Don't begrudge them their art."

To start, we have two simmering, searing proclamations:

In A Temple of Texts, William Gass quoted Arnold Bennett’s book, Literary Taste:

…your taste has to pass before the bar of the classics. That is the point, if you differ with a classic, it is you who are wrong, and not the book. (6)

In the comments section of a wonderful article, “Henry James and the Joys of Binge Reading,” by Charles-Adam Foster-Simard at The Millions; a person called Bill had this to say:

Thanks so much, Ward, for explaining why James isn’t really worth reading. While we’re at it, let’s get rid of all those other neurotic feedback-dodgers who write impossibly long sentences, like Faulkner and Woolf. These folks aren’t artists so much as mentally disturbed loners, incapable of engaging in the rich, healthy social contact that Flesch and his short, simple sentences give us. I plan to go to every bookstore now and throw away all the copies of James I can find, since it’s insane that this self-absorbed reader-hater is still in print. I can’t understand it: it’s almost as if bookstores are trying, doubtless because of their own neuroses, to create the illusion that there are people out there who like to read James. But of course that can’t be true, not with someone who suffered from a prolonged lack of feedback.

Continue reading