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Apr.16.2012
Michael Downs is the award-winning author of House of Good Hope and the newly-released and highly-acclaimed The Greatest Show.  His short stories have been widely published and have been listed in Best American Short Stories many times.  Michael also writes a blog with his wife (...
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Dec.15.2011
It started when we moved from Michigan to California. I was seven and found friends for the first time (my only pal before this was the 72 year old neighbor who let me play with her sock monkey while we sat on the porch and drank tea). And with friends came an awareness that our house was not...
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Nov.22.2011
The hilarious, award-winning, comedy writer Larry Doyle has a new book out this month. Deliriously Happy is a compilation of short, funny pieces Larry wrote for The New Yorker, Esquire and other magazines. You might know Larry from when he wrote and produced The Simpsons. Or maybe you know him from...
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Sep.01.2011
When I was a kid, I used to sneak into my parents’ room and steal whatever book was on the nightstand on my mom’s side of the bed. I tried Anaïs Nin, I tried The Bell Jar, I even tried The Happy Hooker and, alas, none of them could hold my attention. And then one day I found Erica Jong’s Fear of...
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Aug.03.2011
Ellen Sussman's fourth book, FRENCH LESSONS, just came out to rave reviews.  People magazine gave it four out of four stars, a ¾ page layout, and the title of People Pick.  You may already know Ellen from her first novel, On a Night Like This.  Or perhaps you've picked up the two anthologies she's...
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Jul.16.2011
My mother was the one who sent me Donald Ray Pollock's first book, KNOCKEMSTIFF.  She had heard him on NPR, called me that day and told me about the interview.  Then she read the book and it was all over for her, true love.  It's sort of like my daughter with Justin Bieber.  KNOCKEMSTIFF is a...
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Jul.11.2011
In Sixth Grade my best friend Julie T. was obsessed with the movie Funny Girl. She played the record every day after school and sang along while staring at Barbra Streisand's glowing face on the album cover.   "You look exactly like her!" Julie once said.   "How do I look...
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Jun.07.2011
It smelled like men. And maybe that was because there were over thirty of them and only three women. One woman was teaching naked yoga and as far as I could see (I dipped my head in to glance at the class), all the followers were men. The problem was it took place in a gym, and gyms are sort of...
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May.25.2011
A friend once told me that the problem with comparing yourself to other people is that you're always comparing your internal life to someone else's external life.  You see all your dorkiness, manias, fears, and you hold those up against some super-woman in a sharp dress suit, holding power meetings...
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May.25.2011
It seems as though everyone is talking about Michael Kimball.  Sam Lipsyte calls him a "hero of contemporary fiction."  Blake Butler says that Kimball's newly released novel, US, is one of only two books that ever made him cry.  And Gary Lutz says that Kimball is "One of our most...