To the Black Sea: 2 New Book Reviews

Book Review

Two new book reviews out in the world. For Kenyon Review Online, I break down David Bezmozgis’s excellent novel, The BetrayersThen, at Numéro Cinq, I talk about Jeff Parker’s nonfiction journal/travelogue, Where Bears Roam the Streets. Both books are very, very different, but they share geography, with The Betrayers set on the Crimean coastline and a large chunk of Parker’s narrative also unfolding along the warm edge of the Black Sea.

Brief Update

Interview, Random

I talked with Benjamin Johncock about his excellent debut novel, The Last Pilot, for Publishers Weekly. I highly recommend Ben’s book. It’s a great read.

Over at Barrelhouse, I took part in a panel piece on the FX comedy Louie. We got really into dissecting the narrative elements of the show, and we all admitted we’d go for the hot pour. UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: 6/6/15 Here’s the second half of the Louie panel discussion.

A Photo and a Title End Up on Buzzfeed

Random

A funny little thing: A week ago, my photo ended up on Buzzfeed‘s post “33 Writers Share The Books That Inspired Them To Write.”

Backstory: While at AWP, I ran into Isaac, the editor at Buzzfeed Books and one of the nicest guys on the planet, about an hour before catching my airport shuttle. We were talking about, well, books, and he asked me to write down a title that helped shape me as a writer. “For a project,” he said. Off the top of my head, I thought of Where the Wild Things Are, which may seem like a strange choice, but it’s true. I think Wild Things, like the book There’s a Nightmare in My Closet, was one of the first children’s stories I remember that paired monsters with the concepts of empathy and emotion. Looking at my own writing today, I see that narrative thread constantly.

Anyway, he snapped a photo and it ended up on the website. Here’s a link to the piece. There are no names attached to the photos, but you can find me. Also, you may be able to spot some recognizable faces, like Will Chancellor and Julia Fierro, who both released acclaimed novels last year.