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Books
2017-10-18 :: dave

Was moved in various odd ways by this ¶ from John Lanchester’s “How Civilization Started” in the 18 Sept 2017 New Yorker: War, slavery, rule by elites—all were made easier by another new technology of control [other than fire, detailed above]: writing. “It is virtually impossible to conceive of even the earliest states without a […]

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Announcements + Books
2017-08-25 :: dave

I’ve written 138,000 words this year and none of it is publishable. Not publishable yet, is the point of this post (I think). About 100,000 of that is toward a new book, and the rest are from the essays and the short story I spent this summer writing amid travel. I’ve historically been the kind […]

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Books + NF + Reviews
2017-03-27 :: dave

It’s a debut memoir by Mike Scalise (full disclosure: a friend who is right now as I type this on a plane to San Francisco to come read at USF as part of our Emerging Writers’ Festival) that tells the story of his illness and diagnosis. Illness: brain tumor on his pituitary gland. Diagnosis: acromegaly. […]

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Books
2016-09-23 :: dave

One thing I like the most about Goodreads, as a Goodreads Author, is how the site regularly does book giveaways. The idea that I can give a book or two to a stranger and maybe they’ll read it is something very special. I don’t imagine I have any strangers reading this blog, but on the […]

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Books + queers
2016-09-14 :: dave

I. Just before the fall semester hit me like a wave I’d underestimated, I finished Randall Kenan’s[1] A Visitation of Spirits, and I’ve been wanting to write some things about it. Much of the book follows Horace Cross, a teenager from rural North Carolina, throughout a night where a demon leads him through the sites […]

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Announcements + Books
2016-06-25 :: dave

(Not an official name.) Announcing additional dates for my tour, reading from If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There, a collection of stories about everyday people trying their best. If you’re near any of these cities this summer, come on out. I’d love to see you if we’re friends, or meet you if we’re […]

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Books + NF + Reviews
2016-06-06 :: dave

A thing I’ve said more than once in classes is that every good book is a mystery. Which is to say that “mystery” isn’t something to be left for a certain genre of fiction. But mystery might apply just to novels, or to narrative more broadly. Last week I read Paul Lisicky’s new memoir of […]

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Books
2016-03-21 :: dave

My first semester of gradschool I took a class a newly arrived Brit taught called American Literary Nationalism, which looked at books from Washington Irving to Paul Bowles to show how the U.S. leaned on Europe in building its literary heritage. It was a good class. The paper I wrote on A Connecticut Yankee in […]

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Announcements + Books
2016-03-08 :: dave

Indiana University Press, who’s publishing my debut story collection, has posted an excerpt over at Scribd. It’s the title story—or, rather, the first part of the title story, which is told throughout the book in three parts. They’re all autobiographicalish, this one perhaps the most, in that I did, indeed, finish the Friday New York […]

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Books
2016-01-02 :: dave

One feature of this blog is over there at the left: “What I’ve Been Reading”, a (lazily updated) spreadsheet of the books I finish. Those looking for more up-to-date info on my reading habits should befriend me on Goodreads. Turns out I read only 30 books in 2015, which is down 10 from 2014. But […]

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Books + NF
2015-06-17 :: dave

Just seeing the word introvert threw me into despair. Was I an introvert? Wasn’t I? Didn’t I cry more than I laughed? Didn’t I spend all my time reading in my room? That was introverted behavior, wasn’t it? Introvert, introvert, I didn’t want to be an introvert. That was the last thing I wanted to […]

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Books + Very Good Paragraphs
2015-01-15 :: dave

Last year I memorized some paragraphs that had for years meant a lot to me as a writer and also as a person. I thought I’d stick with this practice and find something to memorize this year. Glad I found it early in Vol 2 of Knausgaard’s My Struggle. I liked the first volume better, […]

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Books + Comedy + Endorsements + queers
2014-12-05 :: dave

Reading O’Donnell’s Find Me (2002) for research. Here’s a bit from the book’s brief Acknowledgements: Anne Lamott, Nora Ephron, Dave Eggers, Fannie Flagg, Pat Conroy, and Anne Rice for writing as they do. Take that, McSweeney’s generation.

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Books
2014-06-06 :: dave

1. I just logged in to my blog service’s Dashboard, and I skipped over the option for it to “Remember Me”, which seems an indication that I and my blog service have fallen out of whatever relationship we had with each other back in the sunny days of January when I was blogging like once […]

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Books + NF
2013-12-05 :: dave

I use Grammarly for online proofreading now that my 11th-grade English teacher, Ms. Hines, unfriended me on Facebook. Last night I taught this book, which is a collection of Contributor’s Notes that Martone published in various journals. All begin the same way: Michael Martone was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. From there, anything can happen. […]

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Books
2013-11-19 :: dave

Two things about this reading from our visiting writer I feel so lucky to have scored my first year here: “There’s no such thing as formlessness.” — This as a kind of refrain toward the end of his reading “No Easy Task”. TSE (fortunate poetic initials; I’ve heard Thomas now twice make Prufrock jokes) read […]

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Books
2013-10-24 :: dave

The Schadchen[†] was defending the girl he had proposed against the young man’s protests. “I don’t care for the mother-in-law,” said the latter. “She’s a disagreeable, stupid person.” — “But after all you’re not marrying the mother-in-law. What you want is her daughter.” — “Yes, but she’s not young any longer, and she’s not precisely […]

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Books
2013-07-29 :: dave

Herblock coined the term McCarthyism in an editorial cartoon he did for the Washington Post, my childhood home’s daily paper. He won multiple Pulitzers. In this house in Sonoma County N & I are staying at (its backyard pictured right) there’s a copy in one of the bedrooms of Don’t Call It Frisco, a collection […]

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Books
2013-03-29 :: dave

From the OAD’s entry on rap (n): • a person or thing’s reputation, typically a bad one: there’s no reason why drag queens should get a bad rap.

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Books
2013-03-12 :: dave

Post-AWP, blogs are getting filled with post-AWP entries. AWP stands, originally, for Associated Writing Programs. It’s like MLA for writers. Or the APA. Or whatever it is historians have. The organization throws an annual conference where, originally, other writers in the academy would hold panels on writing and the teaching of writing. AWP now stands […]

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