“William Gass’s ‘In the Heart of the Heart of the Country’ stands as an answer for what it means to write from the Midwest. Told in thirty-six discrete sections, this story is a devastatingly gorgeous meditation on loss and the rhythms of the Midwestern landscape.
Kim Church told me she was writing a novel titled Byrd the first time we met. We were at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) in Amherst, walking a lane after dinner, cows grazing in the adjacent pasture. I’m sure I heard “Bird” even when it became clear that Byrd is a character. The surprise of homonyms captured me. “This novel,” I thought, “will be poetry.” Now, four years later, the novel is almost out; I have read the galley and, I’m thrilled to say, I was right. Sparse and complex, Byrd (Dzanc Books, 2014) makes rich use of extended […]
Our new feature is Steven Gillis’s most recent story collection, The Law of Strings (Atticus Books, 2012). Gillis is the author of four previous novels, Consequence of Skating (2010), Temporary People (2008), The Weight of Nothing (2005), and Walter Falls (2004), as well as an earlier story collection, Giraffes (2007). He is also the founder of 826michigan and the publisher of Dzanc Books—one of the great contemporary forces in indie publishing. In the introduction to Tyler McMahon’s recent interview with Gillis, he describes the collection as “strange, surprising, and ever original.” As McMahon notes, the collection “features magicians, tightrope walkers, […]
Most of our readers know Steven Gillis as the founder of 826michigan in Ann Arbor, or as the co-founder and publisher of the non-profit literary press Dzanc Books. Yet Steve is also a talented writer. He is the author of four novels as well as a collection of stories, his short fiction has appeared in dozens of literary journals, and he’s been nominated for six Pushcarts. Most recently, his novel The Consequence of Skating was a 2011 finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award. And today the book is a B&N Daily NOOK Find, available for only $3.50. I happen to […]
This week’s feature is Eugene Cross’s debut story collection, Fires of Our Choosing, which has just been published by Dzanc Books. Cross was the winner of the 2009 Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service. His stories have appeared in Narrative Magazine (which named him one of “20 Best New Writers” and his story “Harvesters” a “Top Five Story of 2009-2010”), American Short Fiction, Story Quarterly, TriQuarterly, and Callaloo, among other publications. His work was also listed among the 2010 Best American Short Stories’ 100 Distinguished Stories. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf […]