October 17th, 2007

  • lizhand

"Trust your editor and you'll sleep on straw"

So read an embroidered pillow in John Cheever's possession. Now Tess Gallagher, widow of renowned "minimalist" Raymond Carver, wants to republish some of her late husband's most acclaimed work, the stories from "What We Ta;k About When We Talk About Love," in their original, unedited form. I had read the 1998 NY Times Magazine article that outed Gordon Lish, Carver's editor at Knopf, for his heavy hand in pruning these stories. Gary Fiskejon at Knopf is (for good reason) against the repblication (so was Binky Urban, Carver's former agent). And while some of the original stories appeared during Carer's lifetime, it would be fascinating (at least) to compare the two versions.


A loaded issue, considering the extent of Carver's reputation and influence upon American fiction in the last thirty-odd years. Carver seemed uncomfortable with the minimalist monoculture that rose up in his wake — for good reason, it seems.
  • lizhand

Hey Ho I'm Gone

I'm off shortly to Reykjaik, there to ponder the great & eternal question, namely, can an unreconstructed middle-aged NY punk find rock & roll nirvana for five days in a cold sunless city filled with music-lovers half her age? Anyone out there attending the Airwaves festival will find me at the Hotel Fron in full Scary Neary drag — scuffed ostrich leather cowboy boots, frayed black cashmere sweater, old peacoat (my black leather jacket's uncomfortable for long hauls), etc. etc. All certain to be insufficient to keep me warm and dry in Iceland, but hey, that's what it's all about. I'm traveling sans cellphone or laptop, though I've got a camera (35 mm, natch), but will try to post here if/when I find myself by a cybercafe.

I'm psyched about the bands, all 250 of 'em. Bound to be something great in there. Some biggish US/UK stuff like Blob Party, !!!, Grizzly Bear, Deerhoof. But I'm especially stoked at the thought of hearing some Scandinavian new music in its native, or nordic, home. Ya'll be good, hear?

-- posted by Liz Hand

Club Culture, the Hellish Editor, y Mas...

There's a half hour reality show on Versus called South Sydney Story about the Australian Football team that Russell Crowe bought, along with another Aussie rich guy. The team is called the Rabbitohs, their symbol is a white bunny, which Crowe doesn't perceive as being ferocious and manly...so he changed it to a black bunny. He bought the team Armani outfits, inclusive of 600 dollar underwear, and gives them lectures on loving one another being the key to a great team. All this acts to give the old-timers in the front office a pain and the players, to say the least, are non-plussed. Crowe comes off like an American with an Australian affectation who's spent too much time with Tony Roberts. It's pretty hilarious.

One thing that puzzles me is they keep talking about "club culture." I thought this was referring to the team at first, but then they started making references to Australia being a club culture, talking about bowling clubs and other kinds of clubs and such. Anyone know what this means? Is it just that there are a lot of clubs in Oz?

Here's the starred PW review of an antho edited by "the premiere horror editor of her generation," whom we all know by another name, a name that screams in a terrible harsh voice, BUY ME! :)

Inferno Edited by
Ellen Datlow. Tor, $25.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1558-8
Datlow (The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror) makes a solid claim to being the premiere horror editor of her generation with this state-of-the-art anthology of 20 new stories by some of horror fiction's best and brightest. Several outstanding selections feature imperiled children and explore the horrific potential of childhood fears, among them Glen Hirshberg's "The Janus Tree," which gives a creepy supernatural spin to a poignant memoir of adolescent angst and alienation, and Stephen Gallagher's "Misadventure," in which a young man's near-death experience as a child endows him as an adult with consoling insight into the afterlife. The compilation's variety of approaches and moods is exemplary, ranging from the natural supernaturalism of Laird Barron's cosmic horror tale "The Forest," to the unsettling psychological horror of Lucius Shepard's "The Ease with Which We Freed the Beast"; the metaphysical terrors of Conrad Williams's "Perhaps the Last"; and the slapstick grotesquerie of K.W. Jeter's black comedy "Riding Bitch." If this book can be taken as a gauge of the vitality of imagination in contemporary horror fiction, then the genre is very healthy indeed. (Dec.)

I'll be reading with Matt Cheney at KGBs in NYC next month, the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21. Be there for your pre-triptofan fix.