“This is transformative prose at its best. . . . If you want an actual contemporary wordsmith who does not just tinker but thrives in the micro-worlds of Calvino and Borges, Walser and Perec, read Understories.”
I’m excited to share my story “The Directions,” published in the 100th(!) issue of The Collagist. Lots of other stuff in here to feast on, too! Thanks so much to Gabe Blackwell for all he’s done to sustain this journal and make it feel at once fresh, vital, and venerable. Here’s to the next issue-century!
I’m excited to share a novel excerpt entitled “A Portrait of the Composer as a Young and Then Not-So-Young Temp” in AGNI 87. AGNI has been a journal I’ve long admired, devoured, and savored, so it is a particular thrill to find my writing in its pages amidst the work of Melanie Rae Thon and Stephen Dixon and so many others of note. I invariably dig their covers, but this one by Paul Katz seems particularly captivating, and I’m looking forward to learning its story, too. Grateful to be able to work with the amazing editors there, who helped so much in honing this piece and enabling it to reach launch velocity. Here’s how to subscribe, order, or browse around: http://www.bu.edu/agni/index.html
I’m thrilled to be back teaching again in the Summer Writing Retreat in Granada, Andalucia, Spain, with Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai, co-founders of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop this coming summer, August 1st-6th, 2018. I’ll likely be teaching a survey of Contemporary Fiction in Spanish, showcasing favorites like Borges, Cortázar, and Valenzuela, and current faves like Samanta Schweblin, Valeria Luiselli, and Andrés Neuman. Application deadline is May 1st…lots more info here:
My first foray into mystery is a piece called “The B-Roll” in Murder Ink 3, an anthology of New England Newsroom Crime stories. The story was borne of a series of moments–touring the New York Times years ago, going to the Future of Storytelling Festival, fumbling with the cardboard VR viewer the day it came with the Times that one Sunday morning, and thinking about the vital, precarious role of newspapers in our current moment. I’m delighted to have the story in an anthology with so many pros and all-stars. Here’s a link to order: http://www.nhbooksellers.com/product-page/murder-ink-3-pre-pub-ordering
The one, the only Nancy Pearl had some tremendously generous things to say about UNDERSTORIES in conversation with Steve Inskeep on NPR’s Morning Edition. Calling the book “her favorite short story collection in recent memory,” she went on to dub the work “elastic realism,” explaining that the book is “firmly grounded in realism,…[b]ut then…stretches that definition of realism into places that we might not think it would go.”
Plainly and simply, I love this characterization and broke into a rather elastic dance upon hearing her.
She also had kind words for Bellevue Literary Press on Seattle’s The Record, stating, “Their books are just gems. It’s hard to find a Bellevue Literary Press book that, for me, doesn’t work.”
I’m humbled and thrilled to announced that UNDERSTORIES has been chosen as the winner of the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Fiction. Congratulations again to all of the other nominees, and to the winners in other categories, many of whom I’m fortunate to have met: Andy Merton in Poetry, Terry Farish in the Young Adult category, Rebecca Rule for Children’s Literature, and Mary Johnson in Nonfiction. The awards were presented at New Hampshire Writers’ Day on March 22nd on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University. I can’t thank the Writers’ Project enough for all of their support over the years! http://www.nhwritersproject.org/
My “story.” No, wait. Is it a story? What is it? It’s a thing called “Partial Instructions for the Game.” What is it? What game? Wait, where can I find it? What is Outlook Springs? Is it a small town, off-kilter but on-grid, in a swing state? Do I put that in my GPS? Is there geocaching involved? Is this a journal buried in geocaches? Is it a journal that is borne aloft in the minds of thousands of migrating lazuli buntings as they traverse the country thusly: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/occurrence/lazuli-bunting/? No? No and yes and what were we talking about again? Ah yes, seek this out: Issue 2, coming shortly.
UPDATE: Sept. 13th, 2016–Michael Noll graciously wrote up this exploration of the story’s inner workings at his marvelous Read to Write Stories blog, which is a teaching resource that I can’t recommend highly enough. Noll’s analysis, entitled “How To Swim in the Narrative Stream,” delves into the way that the story uses emotion to navigate the reader through time. As a longtime fan of the blog and one who has relied on it many times in the classroom, I’m that much more appreciative to be included.
Michael Czyzniejewski has taken on the monumental task of reading a short story per day for a (leap) year, and then blogging about it. February 29th, people, just another day to Michael. Anyway, his blog invariably manages to be compelling, even when –especially when–documenting the mundane circumstances surrounding his reading experience–life is always hovering at the fringes of his readings and sometimes interlopes, and this candor only enriches them. Here he took a look at Understories and at “The Understory” in particular, and I couldn’t be more thankful for his thoughtful discussion of the story/book. https://story366blog.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/may-12-the-understory-by-tim-horvath/
The first longer excerpt from my novel-in-progress, The Spinal Descent, will appear in the Spring 2016 issue of Conjunctions. Considering how much this journal has meant to me over the years, I couldn’t be happier to let the novel run off the leash a bit in its pages. May it find a creek and scamper in and come out sopping and shaking. More information about the issue and my fellow contributors, so many of whom I admire, can be found here: http://www.conjunctions.com/preview.htm.