I’m now an Associate Editor at Numéro Cinq. Here’s a blurb from the magazine:
Ben Woodard, not all that long a member of the NC Masthead, but in light of his mighty and varied contributions to the magazine, has taken a step up the Celestial Ladder and assumed the new position of Associate Editor. Click on his name and take a look at his NC Archive Page to see what he’s brought to the magazine. Notably and recently, that interview with Lydia Davis, but also review of the new translation of Ondjaki’s Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret in the current issue.
See the full piece here.
Cheap Pop published my short story, “Hood Ornament,” earlier this week. It takes about a minute to read, so please find the time to give it a look, especially if you’re a fan of James Dean, car crashes, and locks of hair. You can find it by clicking here.
Also, over at Numéro Cinq, I review Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret, a really fun novel from Angolan writer Ondjaki. If you were a child of the 1980s, seek out this book. It reads like an adventure film from my youth, as a group of kids band together to take down the Soviets who threaten their beachside village. Here’s a link.
The newest print edition of Rain Taxi contains my thoughts on Halina Duraj’s story collection, The Family Cannon. And over at Necessary Fiction, I review John Flynn’s Dreaming Rodin. Both of these books are from rather small presses, but don’t think that says anything about the quality of the writing. Duraj’s book is quite good, delving though years and continents to tell the story of a Polish family in America, and the best stories from Flynn’s collection call to mind the short fiction of John Fante.
A month or two ago, I talked with Courtney Maum for PW. Maum’s debut novel, I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, is pretty amazing. Make it one of your summer reads.
Our phone conversation lasted a good half hour, so the finished piece is only a fraction of what we talked about. Really great stuff got chopped, but what remains provides some insight as to Maum’s inspiration and sensibilities.
Read all about it here.
Bonus! Here’s a question that got cut from the final draft:
Do you think the characters of Anne, Richard’s wife, and Lisa, Richard’s lover, share similar outlooks on happiness?
Anne is French, so they can never share the same idea of happiness (laughs). It’s a very American thing, this idea of happiness as achievable and tangible. I think their answers to this question would be completely different. Lisa would see happiness as a state of mind that can be accessed by doing certain things, whereas Anne would be more pragmatic. She would scoff at the idea of “happiness” as something you could check off on a list.