Suspend Your Disbelief

Brandon Bye

Shop Talk Editor

Brandon Bye has been a paperboy, a chef, a farm hand, a soccer coach, a barman, a fact-checker, and a freelance writer. He writes short fiction and non-fiction, and he is currently working on the pilot episode of the next big TV series, guaranteed to fill Facebook status updates across America. He grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in Michigan.


Articles

Shop Talk |

Stories We Love: "Christmas Eve"

The afternoon I sat in a lawn chair on the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of my house reading Maeve Brennan’s “Christmas Eve” a gang of basketball players wearing flashing neon onesies, singing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” could have committed an armed robbery on my neighbor’s house—and if we’re to venture further down the path of hyperbole, their get away car would have been a hot air balloon—and I would have failed to notice the entire event. It was August 8, 2009, my mother’s birthday. She would have been 60, my […]


Shop Talk |

Thoughts from the Hopwood Room: Aleksandar Hemon, Ice Axes, and the Uses of Literature

The Hopwood room roundtable is a weekly event in which established writers discourse with the University of Michigan’s student body, faculty, and anyone in the area who is interested in writing and reading. Hands behind his head, Bosnia and Herzegovina-American writer Aleksandar Hemon leaned back on the hind legs of his chair at the Hopwood Room roundtable recently and welcomed questions from the usual suspects of writers and readers, teachers and academics. “What is your name?” he asked each questioner. After a time people knew to introduce themselves before speaking. Hemon’s temperament is casual and direct in equal measure, which […]


Shop Talk |

Thoughts From the Hopwood Room: David Mitchell, Bird Migration, and the Writing Process

The Hopwood room roundtable is a weekly event in which established writers discourse with the University of Michigan’s student body, faculty, and anyone in the area who is interested in writing and reading. Last week David Mitchell was in town as the University of Michigan Zell distinguished writer in residence. As the writer in residence, Mitchell sat in for a roundtable discussion in the Hopwood room, a room he described endearingly as a Harry Potterish, cult leader’s den. For an hour, he fielded questions from writers, teachers, and academics, and one kid interested in infanticide in literature. Mitchell, all charm […]


Shop Talk |

Five Winter Reads

Summer reading lists get all the attention, but with the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder you’ll need something to crack open fireside, that cozy Afghan wrapped around your legs, the warmth of your hot toddy working your bloodstream like a magician working a Vegas showroom. Here, Five Winter Reads “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol In truth, Gogol’s immortal short story, which positions the popular 19th century Russian lit trope “the little man” in the face a coldhearted, crushing bureaucratic system, is most effective with a certain level of Russian studies under the belt. But don’t that dissuade […]




Literary Partners