Reese Okyong Kwon’s stories are published or forthcoming in American Short Fiction, Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, Sun Magazine, and elsewhere; her nonfiction is published in the Believer, More Intelligent Life, and Rumpus. She has received scholarships from the Bread Loaf… more »
Sasha Fletcher is the author of when all our days are numbered marching bands will fill the streets & we will not hear them because we will be upstairs in the clouds, published in 2010 by Mud Luscious Press. Fletcher is the Assistant Editor at Gigantic and is currently in Columbia’s MFA program.
Recently he and I chatted over email.
Q. The cover of when all our days are numbered labels the book a “novel(la),” but it often reads more like linked poetry. It’s not a traditional narrative with traditional story progression, but there are recurring themes, and there is a definite build toward a conclusion. How would you classify this work? Are we reading abstract fiction, narrative poetry, or what? Or do you find classification irrelevant?
A. I view the book as one piece of writing rather than a series of linked parts. It flows from one page, one image or thought, to the next and then back in on itself. The book does tell a bit of a story, at least about a relationship and about dealing with the idea of getting carried away and the necessity in life for some sort of grounding.
In terms of classifying the book, the publisher is calling all of... more »more »
In a recent essay for Rumpus, Rick Moody confesses his dark past as a high school outcast. Ostensibly, this is surprising–though not necessarily a household name, Moody is very well-known in the literary set, and gained fame with his novel, The Ice Storm, which later became a feature film starring Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire, and Sigourney Weaver. However, those who know writers and other creative types pretty well will tell you that most of us share a bond stronger than art–we were all tragically uncool in high school.
The main focus of Moody’s essay is about Bill, a band composed of Bill Gage, a man with Down’s Syndrome, and his brother John, whom Moody was friends with in high school. Moody sets the stage for his discovery of this band by describing his group of high school friends: a motley and eccentric group of outcasts that others called a “cult.” They were fused together in their loneliness and creativity–talent that gets automatically labeled “weird” by teenagers everywhere.
I was, of course, uncool in high school, as were many of the most awesome people I know.... more »more »