Sixteen-year-olds make bad decisions and some new, fast ones

A new essay, about making bad decisions as a sixteen-year-old, over at The Nervous Breakdown. It involves me anbrd gasoline fumes.

Two books that I’ve enjoyed a ton lately. Read Bill Roorbach’s The Remedy for Love over the course of two nights, and I’m generally not that kind of a reader. But the premise is so simple and compelling: an oddball couple forced to spend a few days in a increasingly dangerous situation in the Maine woods must learn to trust each other, and like each other. That sounds really corny, how I just wrote that, but it’s entertaining, and good, and not corny at all. A great love story and a great example of throwing characters into very cold water and then seeing how they get out of it.

And now am reading Laura van den Berg’s Find Me, which is a dystopian sort of adventure story about a 20-year-old orphan  who’s immune to a deadly forgetting epidemic but who is also lost and must find her way out of both an intensely lonely hospital but out of her own sadness. Beautiful writing. I read her first story collection, and it’s got all of that density in this longer form, in this longer story. Both books are the kinds of stories I wish I could write.  lvdb


A short story, at The Lascaux Review

A story, about a guy and a girl seeing something bad in a New York subway station. It’s up over at The Lascaux Review. Here’s the link. (And don’t tell anyone, but this is my first fiction publication (the first one where I’ve made up stuff)).

I’m reading Bill Roorbach’s novel The Remedy for Love and man is it a fun book. Just, you know, page one: blammo, and you’re off. And an exercise in dialogue between two different kinds of people. And the way the girl talks, I don’t think I’ve read a character in fiction who goes from hot to cold, from ecstatic to destroyed, so fast. She turns on a dime, this character. I’m really enjoying it and also it takes place during a really bad snowstorm (built in beginning, built in end), which is a device I myself have been playing with, mostly unsuccessfully, for years.