Today we're pleased to welcome Sally Shore, from Los Angeles's New Short Fiction Series, to tell you more about this wonderful reading series and their upcoming event featuring Stacey Levine. I now turn this post over to Sally. [Editor's note: Stacey's book, The Girl With Brown Fur, is quirky and a bit risque. If you're a fan of cutting edge fiction, this book's for you!]
Hello short fiction lovers! I have the world’s best job. As the host of The New Short Fiction Series, Los Angeles’ longest running spoken words series, I’ve been introducing L.A. audiences to fresh, original new voices in short fiction for 15 seasons. Performed with my amazing rotation of incredibly talented working L.A. actors, we have great fun presenting new fiction by each month’s featured writer.
For our April 10, 2011 performance, we are hosting the book L.A. launch of Stacey Levine’s new collection The Girl With Brown Fur, her first since her PEN-West Award-winning My Horse And Other Stories. Stacey gives us twenty-eight new, feral, untamable stories, in myriad modes, from laugh-out-loud funny to Kafka-nightmarish, lyrical, elegiac, and philosophical. Rooted in the quotidian and often mundane details of everyday life, these stories turn our expectations upside down. The author shows why many consider her a genius of contemporary fiction. I asked Stacey to share some thoughts about The Girl With Brown Fur.
This collection is pensive and fanciful, what was your inspiration?
Go anywhere, look anywhere-- at the houses on your street. Any door, any window. That's the beginning of the mystery that fiction can find and explore —these stories had their beginnings in observation. You see people watching other people with pity or love, ecstasies of joy or possessiveness. The woman watching a man who keeps a little girl on a leash—you can see things like that in shopping malls. A few of the stories in The Girl With Brown Fur were inspired by fairy tales from Europe or the Middle East.
Your world view is truly iconoclastic.
Some readers have told me these stories express the underbelly of experience, or describe wayward sensations/fleeting feelings that aren't usually the stuff of fiction. One reader remarked that these stories make psychological sense, even if the scenarios are a little more real than reality. The unnamed narrator of the title story goes to awkward, possibly dangerous extremes to remove a neurologically and physically-deficient little girl (who doesn't behave much like a little girl) from a creepy hotel. The businesswoman narrator says she wants to save the girl, but it becomes clear that the narrator's most basic wish is to possess herself more fully and to fend off her own regrets.
What can we expect from you next?
It's something a bit different for me: a novel set during the Cold War period.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian calls Stacey Levine “One of the most interesting writers working in America today, startling and idiosyncratic in the best sense.” If you’re in L.A., join us April 10th for this performance and author signing, details and tickets at www.newshortfictionseries.com. Otherwise, download this terrific collection to your Nook and enjoy the ride!
The New Short Fiction Series, presented in cooperation with Barnes & Noble, is a member of The Pasadena Arts Council’s EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program.
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