This is a short piece from a longer project, based on the Tarot, which one day might be finished. I think I’m two-thirds of the way there now. Check it out in the latest issue of that fantastic magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, and while there, check out the other pieces too.
It’s a rare event when a major new literary magazine comes out of India, and rarer still that one of such scope and deep seriousness as The Byword emerges. But here it is, and to me it is a real cause for celebration. If you’re in India, run out to your local bookstore and see if you can get a copy, and if they don’t have one, tell them to order it. I’m proud to say I’ve got a major new story, “Jerusalem”, in the debut issue, but there’s so much else besides, and much of it fantastic. Finally, in India, a print venue where not only new writing is published, but also celebrated.
For some years, I’ve been at work on an outrageously long novel. It’s had various tentative titles over the years, and most recently it’s called The Echoes. Over at Word Riot, they’ve been good enough to publish a brief selection. Take a look here.
The TV had been blaring when she had darted out in the afternoon’s customary haste, ever late, and it still was now, how many hours later, tubing, as always, the Rev Boone Slaughter of the Church of Our Lord of Higher Necessity on one his 24 hour-plus marathons. “Duane’s dark angel” (Pin). Someday soon, the Rev declared, on what day he could not clearly foresee, but that it was written in the Book of Habakkuk, the eighth among the Prophets, if one employed a certain code developed by Al Kinditoy, that wily blind hermaphrodite sage of 16th century Andalusia, that a plague was coming upon the land and soon all would be crying into their pretty little ceramic espresso cups, the ones he found such darling temptresses in the European films of his misspent youth. She turned the volume down and left the picture on, where Slaughter in white robes and Santa Claus beard elucidated his findings through full-color overhead projections, and showered and changed into jammies. She watched the building of the Pyramids, then their cross-sections, then diagrams of their ratios, then a velvet haloed portrait of Al Kinditoy, who from his looks could well have been Slaughter’s lost cousin, then, as the station identification letters KRUT came on the screen, poured herself a gin and tonic, sliced a lime and dropped it in using a hairpin as stirrer, then recalled: the summer reading Moby Dick while her boyfriend, Serge Yavlinsky, increasingly disengaged himself over what he said was the erotic charge she received when learning of the processes of lamp oil production and wondered: Was that what was happening? Was Duane, at this moment, slipping into the icy void, had he moved from cool to cold so fast, did Slaughter’s mesmerism, his brilliant crazy surface, mean more to Duane than she’d ever done?
Very happy to report that my story The “Lost” Chapter of John Jourdain will appear in the upcoming Fall issue of Conjunctions.
Join Quintan Ana Wikswo, Matthew Sharpe, and Ranbir Singh Sidhu as they bring new work to the stage for an evening of morphological misadventure within the uncanny nooks and crannies of newly invoked worlds.
$10 at the door; advance tickets online here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/702551
QUINTAN ANA WIKSWO (www.QuintanWikswo.com) is recognized for projects that integrate her original literature, visual art, video, and performance works. Her collection of short stories and photographs – The Hope Of Floating Has Carried Us This Far – is forthcoming on Coffee House Press. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and theory appears in anthologies, fine art catalogues, artist’s books, and in magazines including Tin House, Gulf Coast, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, New American Writing, Golden Handcuffs Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and many more. Her works are exhibited, published, and performed at prominent institutions through Europe and the Americas, including three solo exhibitions at major museums in New York City and Berlin, and performances at (Le) Poisson Rouge, St. Mark’s Church, Incubator Arts Project, Dixon Place, Beyond Baroque, and others. She is the recipient of fellowships from Creative Capital, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, Center for Cultural Innovation, Theo Westenberger Estate, Yaddo, and more. She maintains a lively visiting artist practice at NYU, CUNY, Colgate College, California College of Arts, California State University, and others.
MATTHEW SHARPE (http://sharpestories.blogspot.com) is the author of the novels You Were Wrong, Jamestown, The Sleeping Father, and Nothing Is Terrible. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University, and has been posting a one-page story every week to his blog Very Short Stories R Us.
RANBIR SINGH SIDHU (www.ranbirsidhu.com) is the author of Good Indian Girls, and a winner of the Pushcart Prize in Fiction and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and other awards. His stories appear in The Georgia Review, Fence, Zyzzyva, The Missouri Review, Other Voices, The Literary Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Barcelona Review, The Happy Hypocrite and other journals and anthologies. His work for theater has been supported by MCC Theater, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, La Mama ETC, the September 11th Fund, and the New York State Council for the Arts among others.
A feature interview over at India Abroad this week. Check it out here.
For readers in India, the wonderful folk at HarperCollins are putting out e-singles for the Kindle in a new, and beautifully designed, series called Harper 21. The current batch focus on the short story form, and they’ve included my story “The Consul’s Wife.” If you’re in India, and own a Kindle, it’s a mere 21 rupees, which is a steal by any standard. Click here to purchase.
In a brief, but glowing, one line review, Barnes & Noble Review says some very nice things about my book (though they misspelled my name). Link here.
In twelve vivid stories, Ranbir Singh Sidhu paints tender, uproarious and incredibly insightful portraits of Indians living in America.