The Spot

David Means has a new collection out. It is called The Spot. It is probably awesome. I came across his previous collection, The Secret Goldfish (a Salinger reference) whilst in a bookstore in Ireland (Rep. of) and decided to check out ‘A visit from Jesus’. It is the only time I have ever stood and read an entire short story in a bookstore, and also the only time my parasympathetic nervous system reacted so strongly to a bunch of marks on a page that I staggered so much I had to grab hold of the shelf to keep balance.

Here’s a recent story of his from  The New Yorker.

Burning Books

I have a piece in the latest London Review of Books. This is how it begins:

I began burning books during my third year in China. The first book I burned was called A Swedish Gospel Singer. On the cover there was a drawing of a blonde girl wearing a crucifix with her mouth wide open and musical notes floating out of it. Inside was a story, written in simple English, about a Swedish girl who loved to sing. One day, passing a church, she heard a wonderful sound. When she went in, the congregation welcomed her and asked her to join their gospel choir. Through these songs she learned about Jesus, his compassion, his sacrifice, the love he feels for all.

It was originally longer, and took in all kinds of other personal stuff, but I think they kept the core. There’s no better cure for one’s tendency to be precious than having a thousand words just cut.

%d bloggers like this: