(May 4) The story in this week’s issue, “The Resident Poet,” is a previously unpublished piece by Katherine Dunn, who died in 2016 and was the author of, among other things, the best-selling 1989 novel “Geek Love,” which follows a family of self-described “freaks” who operate and perform for a travelling circus.
I’d read “Geek Love” three times…
A previously unpublished story by the late Katherine Dunn. It’s a road trip, starts in a car park in the night rain, we go places, the resident poet is excoriated, sordid things happen, ends back in the night car park with a reflection in glass. What’s not to like? (Ed.)
This is a story about indistinguishably lifelike robots released by criminals to lure people into relationships on dating apps and in real life, in order to gain access to their credit cards and bank accounts. Or is it? It has a very dry line of wit just below the surface and a lot about not knowing whether someone is real sounds suspiciously like normal life for a woman of a certain age looking for love. There’s a lot more to it than that. It’s terrifically enjoyable in a grim, somewhat hopeless way.
“Kate Folk is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction at Stanford University.” (The New Yorker)
We never miss the chance to plug our own anthologies. So, we have to tell you now that David Means was the judge for the 2013 Willesden Herald international short story competition. The prize mug went to a story by Danielle McLaughlin, which you can read in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 7.
Don‘t forget the new Twitter version provides a facility to “bookmark” tweets for later. This can help if you haven’t got time to read just now or have used up all your “free views” till next month. Direct link to text and reading: The Stone by Louise Erdrich.
Photo: “Author Louise Erdrich reading at the 2015 National Book Festival. Erdrich won the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction for her novel The Round House.” (Wikipedia)
A lyrical childhood memory piece of nature and family. It is well-read in the author’s beautiful accent, so evocative of the few treasured remnants of the Kindertransport children who made it to London, in this case from Vienna. (Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lore_Segal). Other recent contributors to The Writer’s Voice podcast series include Sally Rooney and Yiyun Li. Introduced by the New Yorker’s fiction editor, Deborah Treisman.
You can also read the story, for the time being, online. It begins:
“That Henry James, when he got old, rewrote his early work was my excuse for revisiting, at ninety, a story I had written in my twenties. I was ten years old when I had to leave Austria, so the day with my father in the Alps must have taken place on our last family holiday, the previous August.”