Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why it's good to be Brian Evenson

So, a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Evenson on the telephone as we chatted about writing, words, the meaning of words, Mormonism and the violence that exists in that culture and elsewhere. What I realized in my hour + chat with him, aside from the fact that my recording device decided to crap out and now we are chatting again about said topics via email, is that he is one of the true great writers out there that gets under the readers skin. Sleepingfish ran a small piece of his not long ago, in the same issue as my dear friend Danielle and I realized then that I wanted more, please. More stories, more words, more beautifully crafted sentences and creepy characters. His latest novel, The Open Curtain (see forthcoming interview for November in Bookslut) chronicles the life of a high-school student/mormon who becomes infatuated with a past murder committed by Brigham Young's grandson. This novel blends the past and present in such a unique way that the reader as well as the main character can no longer tell what's the here and now and what's not. It's actually about a lot more than that, but I don't want to give the whole thing away by divulging the plot and its twists and turns to you now. I advise you to go buy the book. You can even do it right now at Coffee House Press. Brian Evenson is the best kind of writer.

He is passionate about his work beyond most other things, which I respect immensly. Anyone who can stand up to a huge institution like BYU and can express himself with his writing in such a way that moves you (whether you're freaked out by the words on the page or intrigued or impressed) I'd say at the end of the day, if your reader is doing or feeling any of those things, then you've done your job. And here, I definetely say it's good to be Brian Evenson.

If you live in LA and would like the chance to meet him, please stop on by Beyond Baroque, Thursday, November 2nd at 7:30. The cost is $7.00, but it'll be worth it to be in the presence of a literary genius, no? And speaking of literary geniuses, Danielle Dutton's forthcoming release from Tarpaulin Sky has a small blurb and photo up about Attempts at a Life. I highly recommed stopping over there and reading up on it. If you have any class at all, that is . . .

Swamped for now, but had to let you in on the news. And thanks to Laird for the post on his site too about our mutual friend, Ms. Dutton.