Wild Wells

September 20, 2013 | 3

Recommended Reading: Wells Tower’s short story “Wild America” at The Oxford American.

is an associate editor for The Millions and an editor in Atlanta. She tweets at @temalone.


  1. This guy is considered one of the best young writers in America and he writes this: “Maya looked quizzical.” That’s considered great writing? “Maya looked quizzical.” That’s gibberish. It means nothing. That’s something you would find in a bad script for a cheesy thriller. “Maya looked quizzical.” And that’s just one example. This story is littered with little shitty bits like that. It’s depressing when you realize that the gatekeepers of contemporary American fiction still have no idea what they’re talking about.

  2. M, for further depression, jump to the bottom of that page (I don’t know how anyone could read the whole thing without falling asleep). The same magazine published an early version of that story. Another journal published the same story. And it’s from his book. That’s 4 publications for the same utterly pedestrian story, while thousands of better stories remain in dusty obscurity. This is the modern American lit scene.

  3. I’m glad someone didn’t flame me for my comment. I’m sure someone will at some point, but I honestly don’t understand the quality lit scene in the country. And I’m not one of those people who thinks there is no quality lit. There is. There is plenty of it. I read it all the time. But then they push a guy like Tower, and push him hard, and I just don’t get it. This story is freaking lifeless.

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