Fresh to our shelves this fall: wonderfully weird work from Portland publisher Future Tense Press. Helmed by Kevin Sampsell, author of Creamy Bullets (Chiasmus) and A Common Pornography (Harper Collins), Future Tense has a little bit for everybody: poetry, travel memoir, an anthology of stories based around insomnia. Its specialty, however, is fiction; deceptively slim chap-book style fiction. Think Ferlinghetti’s Pocket Poets series but for prose. The results are sudden and strange, quick-to-devour collections, wild work from young writers breaking new ground (Prantha Lohr, Riley Michael Parker) to revered stylists holding axes in their hands (Gary Lutz). Tune out and dig in:
Lor’s quick stories are both darkly funny and emotionally unsettling, with a style that focuses heavily on amazing sentences and sexually ambiguous undertones.
These hilariously original crazings and sorceries of language and of feeling let us in, at last, on all the secrets we’ve been keeping from ourselves. Prathna Lor is a dazzler. –Gary Lutz, author of Stories In the Worst Way
Some people say the first Schomburg/Frey poems appeared during biblical times and that they were read with great joy on Noah’s ark. Other folks date the appearance of these poets’ duets at around 1978 or 2008. Regardless of their unknown origins, the haunting power, spare lines, and peculiar push and pull of these short poems add up to a satisfying and surprising reading experience.
From Claudia Smith, the award-winning author of ‘The Sky Is a Well,’ comes a new collection full of emotionally taut and sweetly melancholic stories that evoke the pain of lost love and broken families.
“Claudia Smith’s ‘Put Your Head In My Lap’ is a vivid book of short fiction that both inspires me and makes me feel inadequate. She takes the everyday–cooking dinner, a stained sink, physical attraction–and renders them in such precise detail, that even “a collection of soiled fingernails in a shot glass” becomes almost unbearably beautiful.” -Mary Miller, author of Big World
Bob Gaulke’s 2nd book (after The Nervous Tourist) is his personal adventure into the world of teaching English in Japan. Told in diary-like entries, this is an entertaining and illuminating look into the world of teaching.
Riley Michael Parker has created a perverse, white collar world full of angry and oversexed office drones. Our Beloved 26th is a biting satire and an assured debut by a bold new Portland antihero. Cover art by the author.
New short fiction collection from the inimitable Gary Lutz.
“Searing realism . . . terribly exact . . . a matter for rejoicing” -Lucy Daniel, The [London] Telegraph
“One would call these lives adrift except that would suggest they once were safely moored and docked; in Lutz’s world there is only ever the open sea of failed (non)relationships, with no land in sight, the characters’ only rudder being the extreme care taken in the words they choose to render their own misery. In each of these stories, the lonely anonymity of a narrator’s misfit existence vies with the glorious singularity of his or her discourse to offer a marvelous, raw tension. Partial List of People to Bleach is at once cruelly honest, precisely painful, and beautifully rendered.” –Brian Evenson
Elizabeth Ellen is one of the most thrilling writers to come out of the literary Internet scene. She writes boldly about her wayward characters–reckless women, cold-shouldered men, and unsupervised children. In her debut collection, Before You She Was a Pit Bull, Ellen unleashes six stories that will crush your heart and leave you begging for more.
People are different at night. More desperate, violent, or sad. Sometimes hunting for adventure, sex, drugs. Cruising around, throwing their bodies recklessly into…anything. The stories in The Insomniac Reader: Stories of the Night examine the dark side (literally and figuratively) of the evening time. From prostitution and adultery to emergency rooms and suicide. This anthology features some of the best writers in the country (Jonathan Ames, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender, Michelle Tea, James Tate, Jonathan Lethem, and many others) shining their flashlights into a world that begins around the time when most people are asleep.
Reviews pulled from Future Tense’s website. For more info, please visit www.futuretensebooks.com