Sunday, December 03, 2006

To a T — A Full Plate — It Happened on the Back Cover?

1. A fine panel yesterday at the Small Book Fair—John Cotrona, T Cooper, and Peter Plate discussed various issues pertaining to indie-press fiction, and then answered a number of questions from the audience . . . some of which were decidedly off topic. It didn't matter, in the end, as all three were able to spin their answers into something interesting and useful. I'm now a big fan of T's Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes—here's what I wrote in my intro:

As the title suggests, two books battle between these covers, and sometimes it seems like three times that many. It’s an ambitious, at times delirious mash-up of Charles Lindbergh, Eminem, pre-James Frey truthiness, rampant identity shapeshifting, a straight-ahead (and heartbreaking) immigration narrative, and an intergenerational grief epic to boot. It gives post-, or post-post, modernism a very good name indeed.

And on Plate:

His latest novel is the taut, post-prison blues Soon the Rest Will Fall, about an unconventional romantic triangle, recidivist impulses, and hunting in the wilds of San Francisco. In lean, urgent chapters, his electric prose unfolds to a jazz and soul soundtrack, leading up to the most jaw-dropping courtroom scene you’ll read this year.

2. Here's the back-jacket bio for Russell H. Greenan's It Happened in Boston? (first printing, 1968):
Russell H. Greenan was born and educated in New York, where he worked briefly at banking before enlisting in the Navy. After war service and graduation from Long Island University, he sold indiustrial gas, diesel engines, and ball bearings, while continuing to read voraciously about art and the art world, always his major interest. Twice he saved enough money to quite his job and go to Europe, the last time with his family. It was in Nice, France, where they settled for a fifteen-month period, that his first novel was written. His favorite modern authors include Cellini, Nathanael West, and J.P. Donleavy, but his talent is uniquely his own.

It's like a little story. The details—Industrial gas! Ball bearings! It's TMI, but a good TMI. (The photo, by the way, is really good—Greenan looks like a successful race-car driver.)


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