At the Rumpus, Xuan Juliana Wang discusses the art of the short story in a round table that includes Kimberly King Parsons, Dantiel W. Moniz, Mary South, and Ashley Wurzbacher. The panel shares their thoughts on crafting a collection, along with what draws them to short stories in the first place. “Story collections, to me, are like a coat full of pockets,” Wang says, “and I’m just rooting around looking for some trinket or tasty snack I can eat. I’ve always found my way to story collections in this way: I read a story I like in a journal or anthology and immediately hunt for the writer’s collection. Then, I read stories in order of the titles I like most. There’s no better way to discover the scope of a writer’s ambitions and obsessions than to read their collection.”
In 1932, several black Americans – including Langston Hughes – traveled to the Soviet Union to shoot a propaganda film about the “evils of racism in the United States.” One of those travelers, Lloyd Patterson, would never return. Instead, Patterson married an Ukrainian woman, and the pair had two children. The firstborn, Jim Patterson, was at one time the most famous black resident of the USSR – and his appearance in The Circus even drew the admiration of Joseph Stalin. After World War II, Patterson served as a Soviet naval officer aboard a submarine in the Black Sea. From there he went on to the Soviet Writers Union in 1967. If you think this sounds far-fetched, I encourage you to read more here.
“There’s something about shopping for books where you’re open for anything. You’re faced with a wall of books, and you don’t know anything about most of them. At some point, it’s just you and the poems.” Carl Adamshick talks with the Los Angeles Review of Books about Powell’s and the “bookstore MFA.” Pair with our own Janet Potter‘s essay on loving bookshops.
Two off-site appearances in as many months from our otherwise relatively reclusive editor, C. Max Magee? And both times invoking the theme of lost adolescence? Something’s afoot! Last month, Max dropped by The Morning News‘ booth for the Tournament of Books’ zombie round, and now he’s joining a star-studded cast at The Awl to answer the question, “What Books Make You Cringe To Remember?”