Read her brand-new essay in Electric Lit – but watch The Undoing first if you don’t want to be spoiled!
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Florida comes up a lot in Williams’s work (she has written a nonfiction book about Key West). It’s a landscape of vacation homes and cut-rate amusements with a complicated gravity that expels some characters, attracts others and causes still others to sink into fragrant, hazy torpor.
But she’s equally at home in — she has in fact lived in — Arizona and Maine. She’s not really a Western or a New England writer, though. Or maybe she is, insofar as the flat, dry heat of the desert affects the restless young women in “The Quick and the Dead” as much as the humidity of Florida afflicts the listless young women in “State of Grace” and “Breaking and Entering,” and the deep, lonesome dark of a Maine winter shadows the mother-and-child odyssey in the short story “Escapes.” Her sense of place is acute, but her places aren’t steeped in history or tradition. People pass through or stop in them without always understanding or caring where they are. “It was one of those rugged American places,” a minor character in “The Quick and the Dead” muses, recalling his hometown in Washington State, “a remote, sad-ass, but plucky downwind town whose citizens were flawed and brave. He would never go back there, of course.”
You can read the whole thing here.
There’ll be a virtual Launch Party this afternoon at 4:30 Eastern, with readings, discussion, and a Q&A – register here.
The American premier of Portuguese guest writer Rui Zink’s novel The Installation of Fear is available to read at Ninth Letter, here.
Heather Sappenfield’s short story collection Lyrics for Rock Stars, winner of the V Press LC Compilation Book Prize, is out today – congratulations, Heather!
In Lyrics for Rock Stars, Heather Mateus Sappenfield has drawn a map of the Colorado mountains and written a legend that describes the inner workings of its people’s hearts.
—Camille T. DungyStepping into the stories in Lyrics for Rock Stars is like stepping into lives you already know, people you’ve lived with, or if you don’t know them already, you’ll wish you did. Writing about the inhabitants of landscapes she knows by heart, Sappenfield makes her people come alive on the page and you’ll turn each of those pages hoping for them, pulling for them, realizing, slowly, that their lives are our own.—Pete Fromm