Reading Crooked

Author and filmmaker Donari Braxton has read my story “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter” (included in Fiddleblack‘s first annual print edition) and his reaction has left me speechless:

“This, is, fucking, fan, tas, tic. This is the best piece of short fiction I’ve read in a good long while, at least this 2012. It’s one of the best things you’ve ever written, that I’m familiar with. It is fuck, ing, fan, tas, tic.

The world you create is disarmingly gauche and socially backwards, but the affinities between characters, however brief, are simultaneously soberingly close-at-hand, dare I say relatable, in spite of the flash format. The insights in between — those little poetic gems in the form of errant elbows — are all earned by the context-of-use, the fun-ness, and the arc, of the read, and quite a few of them are brilliant. The love story itself is pathetically honest. The writing confident, the narrative lived-in. Be proud of yourself. It’s brilliant.

…If you don’t get that your last piece here is as fiercely strong as it is, you’re reading crooked. I wish I’d written it, and I can hardly ever say that, is the truth.”

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Donari Braxton was kind enough to mention me, along with Tony O’Neill and HP Tinker, in his interview with Hillary Raphael posted in Anthem magazine on 20 September 2008. He describes all of us as “enveloppe-pushers”:

“…Raphael’s novels and those of envelope-pushers under the same stamp — HP Tinker’s brilliantly progressive fiction comes to mind, likewise authors Andrew Gallix and Tony O’Neill — exist on their own accord, de-contextualized. And if you’re able to nix ‘experimental lit’s’ elitist subterfuge and instead embrace the tabula-rasa, you’ll see they read like any other, er, ‘non-experimental’ book. With pleasure.”

On 5 September, Susan Tomaselli posted my recent Dazed & Confused article in 3:AM Magazine‘s Buzzwords with added links.