Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘Ben Stroud’

Interviews |

On the Origins and Truths Behind Praying Drunk: An Interview With Kyle Minor

There are images from Kyle Minor’s stories that will stick with me to the grave: a man laying hands on a dying man’s tumor, a preacher baking biscuits at a boy’s funeral. These images sear because they get at the gruesome failures of life. The preacher bakes biscuits in a gimmicky bid for consolation. There seems no true feeling in his action, and so it falls far short of the gravity of the moment. The man with the tumor thinks the narrator of “Seven Stories about Sebastian of Koulev-Ville” is the healer come to pray over him. The narrator has […]

Shop Talk |

Book-of-the-Week Winners: Byzantium

Last week’s feature was Ben Stroud’s debut collection, Byzantium, and we’re pleased to announce the winners: Dina Del Bucchia (@DelBauchery) Brian Ralph Short (@heystorytellers) TaffyBrodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) Congrats! To claim your free copy, please email us at the following address: winners [at] If you’d like to be eligible for future giveaways, please visit our Twitter Page and “follow” us! Thanks to all of you who are fans. We appreciate your support. Let us know your favorite new books out there!

Shop Talk |

Book of the Week: Byzantium, by Ben Stroud

This week’s feature is Ben Stroud’s debut collection, Byzantium, which won the Bakeless Fiction Prize and was recently published by Graywolf. Stories in Byzantium originally appeared in such places as Harper’s, Ecotone, The Boston Review, One Story, Electric Literature, and New Stories from the South. Originally from Texas, Stroud holds a BA in English and History from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA in Fiction and a PhD in Twentieth-Century American Literature from the University of Michigan. He has received residencies from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and has taught literature and creative writing at universities in […]

Reviews |

The Hakawati, by Rabih Alameddine

Rabih Alameddine’s latest novel, The Hakawati, is itself about the power of a good story—its ability to engage us and, when collected with other stories, make us who we are. The narrative takes readers from a hospital in present-day Beirut to a Lebanese village in the years before World War I, to the mythic medieval past of the Middle East. Some stories simply begin of their own accord, and others grow from tales already being told. For instance, the story of the hero Baybars, which stretches across the novel, is told within another story by an emir who hopes, through the telling, to ensure his child will be a boy–further testament to the power of (and power of believing in) stories.