Monday, February 17, 2014

What is Gregory Spatz reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Gregory Spatz, author of Half as Happy.

His entry begins:
The past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to re-read two of my all-time favorite books for a graduate novel writing workshop that I’m teaching: So Long See You Tomorrow, by William Maxwell and Stoner, by John Williams.

So Long See You Tomorrow has one of the most interesting hybrid forms I’ve encountered—half meditative essay/memoir exploring the death of Maxwell’s mother and the period of time immediately following, told in a dispassionate but heartrending first-person retrospective; part third-person omniscient story of adultery, murder and suicide. Through all of it, Maxwell’s transparent and understated style of narration, his patient and capacious voice, works like magic. The scenes and paragraphs seem to digress and dissolve sideways but always land you exactly where you need to be for the story to progress. The viewpoint shifts fluidly from murderer, to estranged lover, to child, to great aunt, to the farm dog, and back again, with no whiplash or confusion. Like the Alberto Giacometti sculpture, The Palace at 4 AM, which evidently inspired some of the book’s writing or conception, So Long See You Tomorrow seems to imply...[read on]
About Half as Happy, from the publisher:
A grieving couple rents a desperate landlord’s house in an effort to recover lost intimacy. Twins are irrevocably separated by events both beyond and within their control. A nighttime prank and its gruesome aftermath forge human connections no one could have anticipated.

The eight stories in Half as Happy reveal with startling clarity their characters’ secrets, losses, and desires. Each with the depth of a novel, these insightful portraits of the darkness and light within us reverberate long after they’ve ended, like beautiful and disturbing dreams.
Learn more about the book and author at Gregory Spatz's website.

The Page 69 Test: Half as Happy.

Writers Read: Gregory Spatz.

--Marshal Zeringue