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Hannah, Barry

Water Liars

In the Wells Tower profile of Barry Hannah I reference in the spoken introduction to today’s story (which you should treat yourself to), written before Hannah’s 2010 death, the following is offered:

Hannah is not a writer to be read idly, with half a head or heart. His work thrives in his sentences, the best of which require a couple of readings to fully wring their satisfactions. The syntactic rigor and strange music of his fiction occasionally get him classified as a difficult or, less appropriately, a postmodern writer, and are probably why Oprah Winfrey hasn’t called him yet.

It’s too bad Oprah didn’t jump at a chance to call him, I thought, then: it’s too bad I didn’t jump at the chance to write him a letter. Maybe it’s the sentiments of annus novus, or maybe it’s just the blade of edge needing sharpened. But, having recently driven through the parts of the country Hannah writes about, I can assert that “a lot of porches and banjos” wouldn’t be such a bad thing at all.

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Categories
O'Connor, Flannery

Enoch and the Gorilla (Guest Reader: Patrick Scott)

Some of you may remember the sweet sounds of Patrick Scott from earlier Miette Bailouts. When I put out the call for guest readers, he was quick to the case. But Patrick’s a busy guy, now that he’s a famous filmmaker, and so when you listen to his lustrous interpretation of Flannery O’Connor, you will pick up the occasional whirr of what seems a loud computer fan.

I’m here to tell you resolutely not to mind this, not to let it interfere with the almost toxic pleasure you might receive from a Patrick/Flannery one-two-punch. If anything, think of it not as a probably loud computer fan, but rather, as a Flannery O’Connor story as broadcast from the other side of the buckle of the asteroid belt.

The next two weeks will be just full of guests, and if you’ve offered a story and haven’t delivered, I will remember this when your birthday rolls around. There’s still time to redeem yourself. You know who you are.

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Categories
Minor, Kyle

The Truth and All Its Ugly

Whenever an internet missive or twit crosses my screen with Kyle Minor’s name attached, I open it up in awe of his apparently continual reading and writing and thinking acutely about the finer side of the bookish life. I don’t know whether this relentless pursuit of the craft can be had without a truckload of drugs, but I also think the drugs necessary for his task probably haven’t even been concocted yet.

Tonight’s story was originally published on Fifty-Two Stories, and is here with the permission of the author, a fact that I am laying down right now in case Fifty-Two Stories happens to have an intellectual property lawyer in the family with some time on his or her hands. And actually, Mr or Mrs Fifty-Two Stories and all sister and parent companies, if you’re reading this and you do come from legal blood, we should get married.

For the rest of you, you could get your brain into top form fast by looking closely at the right 3/4 of Kyle Minor’s legendary reading list. Here’s his web site, if that’s your bag.

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Categories
Hurst, James

The Scarlet Ibis

A Listener (you know who you are) wrote to me recently requesting that I laugh hysterically for fifteen minutes into my microphone and post this as a short story for you. Now, while I agree that this would be a particularly amusing johncagey experiment, I have not, unfortunately, seen hyenaic laughter transcribed this way, and have no idea what it might look like on the page.As always, if you can send the story, though, I’ll see what I can do. Thankfully, Denise (you also know who you are) offered an alternate recommendation, which I happily oblige.

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O'Connor, Flannery

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

WhoAm asks whether Flannery O’Connor can be expected soon. Now, I’d thought of saving O’Connor for a while, for obvious (or perhaps not-so-much-so) reasons: the desire to wait until my face gets older and wrinkles become a more permanent part of its own social fabric, or maybe I’ve wanted to save her for the debut of the sequel to Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast.

But it has been asked, and as you well know, I’m either more than happy to comply with requests, or a peerless sucker. Go ahead and ask me to read the next one standing on my head.

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