Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 12
August 25 - September 2, 1997

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Past Perfect
Lydia Davis' New Collection Places Her Among The Finest Storytellers On The American Scene. [2]
Stacey Richter

Tales from the Dark Side
Dennis Cooper's Guide. [3]
Jeffrey Lee

Joe Lansdale
Nacogdoches native Joe Lansdale has made an impressive mark in the world of novels, comics, horror, Westerns, and more, and yet is still an "unknown." [4]
Marc Savlov

Indistinct Kingdoms
Barbara Cully offers us poetry that looks, feels and sounds like poetry, instead of mere prose envy. [5]
David Penn

Mags to Niches
Introducing "Brightleaf," a new look at the new South and its writers. [6]
Leonard Gill

Speed Reader
The Bathroom, The Kitchen, plus Wild Animals on the Moon, XY Files and The Superlative Man. [7]
Blake de Pastino, Tracy L. Cooley, Jessica English and Julie Birnbaum

Now What?
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets. [8]

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Talk Back
Our online BBS is just like the Algonquin Round Table, only electronic, sober, and without all the famous people.


  don't know how, but we did it: we managed to get a review of every imaginable type of writing into one week's Books section -- and with only six articles!

A review of Lydia Davis's short-story collection Almost No Mercy finds that intelligent, inventive narratives don't have to follow the same old trendy formulas. Davis weaves 50 tales of self-knowledge, domesticity and romance with little need for plot, characters, or settings to guide her.

If you prefer full-length novels to one-sentence short stories, this review of Dennis Cooper's Guide demands attention. Though it touches on druggie self-hatred, pedophilia and extreme sexual violence, the reviewer says its passages are among the best he's read in any context.

Interview, anyone? This conversation with Joe Lansdale, "the most famous unknown writer working today," exposes the thought processes of a Texan who's penned everything from hard-boiled detective novels and horror stories to comics, screenplays and even a regional farm journal.

For a savory taste of poetry, read up on the subversively un-prose-like musings of Barbara Cully, whose book The New Intimacy presents a welcome break from the over-expository poetic tendencies of the last decade.

Finally, we've got a real self-referential treat: a review of a book-review journal. Read how Brightleaf: A Southern Review of Books is fighting to dispel the scourge of "redneck chic" in writing. And don't miss our Speed Reader column, which contains reviews of works from Ellen Lupton and J. Abbot Miller, Naomi Ayala, and Herbert Thomas. As a bookworm, I find this all highly appetizing.

From The Vaults

Elvis Lives!
Reviews of detective novels by Robert Crais (Indigo Slam), James Lee Burke (Cimarron Rose), as well as Bradley Denton's Lunatics and Michele Zackheim's Violette's Embrace. [07-28-97]
Mike Shea, Virginia B. Wood, Adrienne Martini, and Anna Hanks

Lesser Evils
Unusual detective fiction set in World War II France. [08-18-97]
Emil Franzi

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