One Story author Ben Greenman (Issue # 113, “The Tremulant”) has published a new collection of stories that has literary critics buzzing. “What He’s Poised To Do” (Harper Perennial) has raked in shining reviews from several publications. The Los Angeles Times calls it “astonishing”; Bookslut proclaims it “a book so beautiful, you’ll feel mysteriously compelled to mail it to a stranger”; and PopMatters writes, “I want to run out onto the balcony of my apartment and yell from there how snazzerific, how terrificadelic, how ubertastic this book is.”
Finally, The Millions notes, “After reading What He’s Poised To Do, it’s almost baffling that Ben Greenman isn’t a full-fledged star…he exhibits such compelling mastery over the form and engages readers with compact, electrifying prose.” To read the rest of this review, visit their webpage.
Or, alternatively, you can read the stories yourself and see what has the critics raving! To learn more about Greenman or to share your own comments about his book, contact Gregory Henry at Harper Perennial.
As we did last summer, we’ll be running our “From the Trenches” blog column through the fall, where our summer interns will have the opportunity to inform you on almost anything–beach reads, sewage, envelope stuffing, you name it. Below is a review of Kevin Wilson’s story collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth. For those of you keeping score at home, the collection won the Shirley Jackson prize last week. Enjoy!
From a fake granny, to a sorter of Q’s at the Scrabble Factory, to a big-toothed baby, to an agent at Worst-Case Scenario, Inc, Wilson’s characters captivate us with a sense of immediacy. All we have to do is listen.
And yet, each narrative, in its own discrete way, makes us, the readers, an integral part of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth. In his Q&A interview regarding “Worst-Case Scenario” (issue #42), Wilson revealed that one of his greatest challenges in writing is “embracing the ridiculous nature of the story without making the concerns of the characters ridiculous.” Clearly, he has risen to that task by placing his characters in situations that are at once fantastically bizarre and real; by creating strange realities that are microcosms of our “true” reality.
He explores the dead and disturbing, but with a comical flair that reminds us that laughter, or, at the very least, hope, can endure even in the most depressing set of circumstances.
The Shirley Jackson Award honors authors who have a knack for “psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic,” according to the award’s webpage. Despite Wilson’s conviction, “I’m not going to win,” his collection of short stories Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, which features “Worst-Case Scenario”, is more than deserving of this prize.
It is perhaps Wilson’s simultaneous humility and confidence as a writer that allow him to explore the complexity of his characters’ understanding of themselves and their relationships with one another. Stay tuned for a more detailed upcoming post about Wilson’s award-winning short stories.
One Story author Jim Hanas (issue #8, “The Cryerer”) is feeling generous in this summer heat! In anticipation of the fall release of his newest short story collection, Why They Cried (e-book, Joyland and ECW Press), he’s giving away FREE copies of his first e-book, Single, until Labor Day. Single contains two stories that will appear in Why They Cried, including “The Cryerer”. Hurry up and get your sneak preview of Hanas’ upcoming collection!
Visit his webpage to download Single in various electronic and print formats. Technology not your best of friends? Not to worry—you can call Jim at his very own support line: 347-WHY-THEY (347-949-8439) or email him using the link posted on the site.