May 29, 2009

Lindsey Kent on Clarice Lispector, China Mieville on Dambudzo Marechera, Me On My Inadequacy (WARNING: This post contains exclamation marks)

Am feeling ig'nant today, if not as hungover as I should (for which, before my god Neurofen, I bow down). While trying to finish a short story which I have been avoiding for a month or so I have been surfing round tinternet and reading the newspaper. I've submitted a story to a collection called Hyperkinetic and they are doing these author profiles of the people involved and today I read the one belonging to Lindsey Kent. Having chosen Mr Pynchon as her favourite author she was then asked who we should be reading and alongside Cortazar she went for Clarice Lispector, who I must admit I'd never heard of and who turns out to be Brazil's most famous and wonderful modernist, a woman who, if Wikipedia is to be believed, "looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf". Anyway, I've ordered "Hour of the Star" from Abebooks because it's the most readily available, so I will soon be able to nod and look sage at the mention of her name.

I was only just recovering from my dullardity qua non-Anglo-European modernism and all that jazz, when who should I read in the Indie but China Mieville on Dambudzo Marechera, a Zimbabwean "gutter modernist". So I have bought a book by him, too, tho' not the one Mieville recommends, cos like he says, it's really hard to find it. I am a consumer! I have bought off my feelings of inadequacy! Then parlayed them into a post on my fuck-boring blog! Life is sweet!

May 27, 2009

Ewan Morrison - Ménage in the Random Ape House

Ewan Morrison has recently taken up virtual residence on Random House's new Author's Place. He is devoting his time to readings (with visuals) from his forthcoming book, "Ménage," which is out this July. It looks/sounds good. Go look.

May 13, 2009

Bas Jan Ader at

To celebrate the fact that the mighty ubuweb now allows you to imbed video, I hope you enjoy these selected works (all from 1970/71, I think) from Bas Jan Ader. Apparently Mr Ader disappeared in 1975, having decided to cross the Atlantic in a 12 foot sailing boat. The work the journey was meant to form the middle part of was called "In Search of The Miraculous" and perhaps he found it. Anyway, his series of "Falls" are excellent. I particularly like "Broken Fall (Organic)".

[Unfortunately, my html skills are too rudimentary to sort out the various problems with Ubuweb's coding for embedding, so it's all wonky. You might be better off watching it at the site itself!)

May 12, 2009

Aleksander Hemon - "Love & Obstacles"

There's a new Hemon on the way, a collection of interlinked short stories apparently similar in tone to "The Question of Bruno" (still my favourite of his books, I think). You can read the title story of the collection in The New Yorker, or check his new website here.

Question: can you ever get bored or frustrated with being compared to Nabokov and Conrad, or does it feel creamy and good every single time?

Marginal Gloss

I'm really liking this blog and not only because there was a very sympathetic write-up of "The Heritage" on there a few weeks ago (though that helped).

May 10, 2009

Recession Session - fallout

So, the post-quake rumblings from the Recession Sessions slowly die down. You can look at the prepossessing bunch of wordniks who read here (I chose Paul Ewen to illustrate my piece here cos of his sad eyes) or alternatively you can read Sam Jordison's "review" here (although I must warn you that it's mainly about how much his shoes hurt and how much nicer Norwich is than London). You can also read the story I read (and many of the pieces other people read) at Beat The Dust. Whateva.

May 06, 2009

Book Club Boutique - reading May 18th

I've not been very creative with my posting recently and once again, this one is more informational than inspirational. Nevertheless, it remains the case that I'm reading a story at the Book Club Boutique on May 18th at a night organised and curated by Tony White... Here are the details...




Plus Live Music:
THE BOOK CLUB BOUTIQUE resident band and DJ

Monday 18 May, 7 to midnight
City/Town: London, United Kingdom

It's the month of May and Beer Street beckons. There's a heatwave in Hackney, chaos in South Ken, and taking photos is close to a capital offence unless you're behind a CCTV camera, BUT 'Wherever the readers of this INVITE find themselves, it may be assumed that we all agree an interest in the streets of London...' and there's a plentiful supply of ales and wines at Dick's Bar on Romilly Street for LONDON SHORT STORY NIGHT presented by THE BOOK CLUB BOUTIQUE

Monday, May 18, 2009. 7-midnight

Featuring readings that are pop-song length from:

Will Ashon (I've cut the rest, cos I figure if you're reading this you can probably work out who I am).

Lana Citron is author of five novels, Sucker, Spilt Milk, Transit, The Honey Trap and The Brodsky Touch. Her writing has been described as ‘wicked but affectionate satire,’ Daily Telegraph, ‘genuinely witty and original,’ Literary Review, and, ‘totally compelling,’ novelist Scarlett Thomas. Not one to blow her own trumpet, Citron's other works include short stories, poetry, plays and the award-winning short film, ‘I was the Cigarette Girl.’

Matthew De Abaitua's debut novel The Red Men (Snow Books) was shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke award and described by Will Self as, 'Sumptuously written, with prose that glitters with a dark lustre like a Damien Hirst fly collage.' Matthew is interviewed by 3am Magazine here.

Salena Godden almost needs no introduction here, google her if you don't believe us: poet, singer with Saltpeter, producer and host of the Book Club Boutique. Her myspace page is here.

Tony White is the author of novels including Foxy-T (Faber & Faber), described by Toby Litt as 'one of the best London novels you'll ever get to read'. More on Foxy-T Mhere. Last year Tony was writer in residence at the Science Museum and he'll be reading from Albertopolis Disparu, the short story pamphlet they've just published for free. Here's what the Londonist said: 'Weirdly brilliant steampunk thing... Anyone who loves alternative versions of London a la Neil Gaiman or Alan Moore should get their hands on Albertopolis Disparu.'

So quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee, and successfully advance to LONDON SHORT STORY NIGHT at Dick's Bar on Monday, May 18, 2009 as part of THE BOOK CLUB BOUTIQUE. (Guardian recommended!).