Two readings: The Center for Fiction & Epiphany Magazine, Tuesday, Dec. 2nd; and Pratt Institute Writers’ Forum, Wednesday, Dec. 3rd

I’m honored and grateful to announce two public readings I’ll be giving this week. Tomorrow night, Dec. 2nd, I’ll be reading at 6:30 PM at The Center for Fiction, a national treasure for writers and readers alike. The event celebrates the release of the newest issue of Epiphany Magazine, in which a new short story of mine appears. And on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd, I’ll be reading at Pratt Institute Writers’ Forum, as part of a reading series that includes some of my favorite authors: Lev GrossmanTea Obreht, Jenny Offill, and Patricia Smith. That event takes place at 12:30 PM in Engineering 307. A warm thanks to Gina Zucker at Pratt for the invitation and the support.

Hope some of you can attend.

Click either event for more info:

The Center for Fiction, Tuesday, Dec. 2nd, at 6:30 PM

Pratt Institute Writers’ Forum, Wednesday, Dec. 3rd, at 12:30 PM


Visiting writer at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University’s MFA Program (Oct. 2–Oct. 7, 2014)

Really excited to travel to Spokane, WA, next week where I’ll be a visiting writer at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University.

Visiting Writer

My book is being taught in the MFA program there, and I’ll get to meet the students and instructors, teach a writing workshop, give a talk on book criticism, read from my work, and spend some time with the good folks out in that part of the country.

Grateful for the invite and for the warm support.

Summer’s End: The Brooklyn Rail’s latest: July/August & September 2014

I have a few more days left to make a late-summer post before autumn moves in and settles its cool, colorful arms arounds us for a while. What a summer it was for me—both personally and professionally (details to follow). Professionally, my editorial work at The Brooklyn Rail continues to give so much satisfaction. The late-summer/early fall issues are out. Our In Conversation series continues with Matt Bell‘s monthly interview spot. This month Matt talks with fiction writer Josh Weil about his new novel THE GREAT GLASS SEA. Tony Leuzzi talks with poet Mary Rueffle about her newest volume TRANCES OF THE PAST. Stephen O’Connor talks with nonfiction writer Sean Madigan Hoen about his new memoir SONGS ONLY YOU KNOW. And our reviews are the finest in the borough! John Dominicovers Luke B. Goebel‘s FOURTEEN STORIES AND NONE OF THEM YOURS: A NOVEL. Ashley P. Taylor covers Roxane Gay‘s BAD FEMINIST. Jeffrey Zuckerman covers two Brazillian novelists: Paulo Scott’s NOWHERE PEOPLE and Michel Laub’s DIARY OF THE FALL. Geoffrey Young covers Kevin Birmingham’s THE MOST DANGEROUS BOOK: THE BATTLE FOR JAMES JOYCE’S ULYSSES. Anne Margaret Daniel onElizabeth Eslami‘s excellent collection HIBERNATE. Patty Park covers Bret Anthony Johnston‘s REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS. Katharina Smundak looks at the one and only John Water’s newest CARSICK. Geoffrey Young reviews Al Alvarez’s PONDLIFE: A SWIMMER’S JOURNAL. John Domini reviews Brandon Hobson‘s DEEP ELLUM. Brian Gresko reviews Scott Cheshire‘s debut HIGH AS THE HORSES’ BRIDLES.

Upcoming issues will feature Darcey SteinkeMarie-Helene BertinoAndre Dubus IIIElizabeth TrundlePeter MarkusWendy C. OrtizLaura Jean MooreLaura AuricchioDaniel LevineJeff VanderMeerChristopher X. ShadeKathleen RooneyRob WilliamsCatherine LaceyJim Tolan,Alexandra ChasinJ. T. Price, Joanna Clapps-Herman, Heiko Julien, Kseniya Melnik, Christine Wertheim, Stanley Crawford, and many more.

As always, my great thanks to editor Sara Roffino and nonfiction Books editor Katie Rolnick. Shouts-outs of gratitude are also in order to Penina Roth and Erin Harris. Thanks to all! Enjoy. . . .


June 2014 issue of The Brooklyn Rail is on stands and online now

Let the summer literary celebrations begin! TheJune-Rail-cover June issue of The Brooklyn Rail is on stands and online now. Again, I have to express my pride in our “In Conversation” series. Whether you’re writer, reader, or both, you’ll love this growing series. This month we feature interviews with poet Tony Leuzzi with David Groff; Kenan Trebincevic and Susan Shapiro with Rob Williams; as well as another installment of the NYPL Young Lion Matt Bell‘s monthly interview series. This month, Matt offers up an amazing interview with debut novelist D Foy. Books under review this month include Courtney Maum‘s poignant and playful debut I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN HERE WITHOUT YOU, reviewed by Elizabeth Eslami; there’s John Domini‘s smart collection of critcism THE SEA-GOD’S HERB, reviewed by J.C. Hallman; and there’s Tony Leuzzi‘s gorgeous new volume of poetry THE BURNING DOOR, reviewed by Steve Fellner; also there’s Spuyten Duyvil’s incredible new anthology of contemporary experimental women writers WRECKAGE OF REASON II: BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD, edited by Nava Renek & Natalie Nuzzo, reviewed by Joyelle McSweeney.

Upcoming issues will feature Bret Anthony Johnston, Karen Russell, Lee KleinCatherine LaceyNicolle ElizabethDarcey SteinkeKathleen Rooney, Patricia Patty Park, and many more. Stay tuned!

Huge thanks to the remarkable Sara Roffino and Books editor Katie Rolnickand Andrea Scrima for the tip-off.




Zadie Smith at The New School, NYC, June 4, 2014


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All this week at The New School, I’ve been attending a seminar on Zadie Smith’s novel NW. Last night Smith herself attended. She read generously and entertainingly from the novel and then spent the rest of the evening discussing the process of writing it. She discussed the craft of fiction (esp. dialogue, setting, and character); the current literary landscape; representing identities not the writer’s own; being a parent and a writer; writing to one’s strengths; the genius of Roald Dahl; the talent of Judy Blume and Stephen King; and the name on everyone’s lips: Karl Ove KnausgaardNW, whom she’s interviewing tonight at McNally Jackson in NYC. It was a great evening, and I’m so grateful to my kind and brilliant colleague Andrew Zornoza who led the class marvelously, and to Laura Cronk and Lori Lynn Turner, who organized the entire Summer Writers Colony, offered every summer by The New School’s School of Writing.

Although the event was a private class, I’m posting this wonderful video of Smith giving the commencement address last week at The New School’s graduation ceremony. Enjoy.

May 2014 issue of The Brooklyn Rail is on the stands


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After much work, I’m pleased to announce that the May issue of The Brooklyn Rail is on the stands. I have to express my pride in the Rail’s In Conversation series. If you’re a writer or a fan of books, you’ll love this growing series. This month we feature interviews with Pamela Erens andElizabeth TrundleLance Olsen and John DominiDavid Burr Gerrard and Scott Cheshire; as well as Matt Bell‘s regular monthly interview series, in which, this month, Matt talks about all those raw imperfect impulses with poet Bianca Stone. Books under review this month include Roxane Gay‘s AN UNTAMED STATE; Jesmyn Ward’s MEN WE REAPED; Kenan Trebincevic and Susan Shapiro‘s THE BOSNIA LIST; Brian Gresko on Lynne Tillman‘s WHAT WOULD LYNNE TILLMAN DO?; Jason Porter‘s WHY ARE YOU SO SAD?; as well as Jen Percy‘s DEMON CAMP and W.G. Sebald’s A PLACE IN THE COUNTRY (both fabulously edited by Books editor Katie Rolnick)

Upcoming issues will feature Karen Russell, D FoyLee KleinShane JonesCourtney MaumElizabeth EslamiCatherine LaceyNicolle ElizabethDarcey SteinkeJ.C. HallmanKathleen Rooney, and Joyelle McSweeney. Stay tuned!

A huge thanks, as always, to the remarkable Sara Roffinocover-page-31

Rosie Perez in The Brooklyn Rail & New York Times Sunday Book Review, Sunday, May 18, 2014


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This weekend’s NY Times Sunday Book Review covers the debut by Brooklyn’s favorite daughter Rosie Perez, HANDBOOK FOR AN UNPREDICTABLE LIFE, calling it “a careering ride, crowded with family struggles and reconciliation and therapy-inflected observations…an uplifting and enjoyable debut.” The Brooklyn Rail‘s Books section was delighted to speak to Ms. PerezRosiePerezBook, in February, on the occasion of her book’s release:

H.I.P. Lit Reading Series: The End of the World Edition, Friday, May 16th, 2014


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As NYC-area reading events go, this is one of my favorites. The H.I.P. Reading Series is one of the slyest, wittiest, campiest, and most talented reading events I’ve ever experienced. And “experienced” rather than merely “attended” is the distinction to be made here: The three women who conceive and curate each themed reading event are equal parts Peggy Guggenheim, Bill Graham, and P.T. Barnum; and each event is a singular happening never to be experienced again. And what’s more: They showcase some of the best writers around. I’ll be in attendance this Friday, May 16th, for their End of The World edition, which Erin HarrisBrittney Canty, and Kim Perel promise will be “a strange paradise,” complete with a brooding volcano and lingering fog and a food truck–La Troca del Sabor. There’s even going to be a for-real L.A. rock band playing that night, Among Savages. Be there and be able to say you were.Image

Review of Jaime Clarke & Charles Bock in conversation at The Center for Fiction, Weds, 4/30


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Great time last night at the Center for Fiction. Thanks to Jaime Clarke and Charles Bock, who made a bunch of rain-soaked New Yorkers glad they had braved the elements. The two writers discussed Clarke’s new novel VERNON DOWNS, which I thought was such an important new work of fiction that I assigned it to my fiction students for their final craft analysis, and assigned it, as well, for review at The Brooklyn Rail. Bock asked Clarke exactly the kinds of questions my students have been asking in class, and he did so with humor, generosity, and grace. Clarke discussed not only the novel, but also his time in college and grad school, his memories of being a young writer in NYC during the 90s, his recollections of the writer Bret Ellis, the growing importance of Ellis’s AMERICAN PSYCHO and LESS THAN ZERO, and all the work that went into writing the new book. Afterward, Jaime Clarke generously chatted alone with my class, answering their questions and responding to comments. They loved him. And I also got to meet a hero of mine, Charles Bock, whose novel BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN has been a favorite of mine since it came out. A really special night. Thanks to Jaime and Charles, and to The Center for Fiction for their warm welcome.


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