I've neglected this space for a bit, but fear not, it's because I've been busy. No, really. I promise. I'm nearly done with my new book (which is based on my short story "Mitzvah"...so more rabbis, more hitmen...) and I've also been hard at work on a few other projects along the way. Here's some links to some new stuff, and coming up I'll have news about some spring time appearances, including several events at the LA Times Festival of Books. (And, as ever, you can always find me quickly on Twitter and Facebook.)
I'm now co-hosting, with the excellent Julia Pistell and Rider Strong, a new literary podcast, Literary Disco, that will tackle the tough literature questions of the day...like: Was Sweet Valley High good for young girls...or was it the most fucked up, rape-filled clusterfuck of a book ever? I may have shown my hand there, but, well, you'll have to hear the show when it airs to know my complete feelings on the topic. We promise the show will be a little different every time -- part book review, author interview, therapy session and scatalogical descration of your favorite books. Our first episode is up now with more to come!
A new essay of mine is in the latest issue of Hobart. "When They Let Them Bleed" looks at the Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini vs. Duk Koo Kim fight and how we remember the things that form us. You can look at a bit of bonus material here. And here's a brief excerpt:
"I was eleven the first time I saw someone killed. A real someone, that is. Prior to that point, I’m certain I’d seen hundreds, probably thousands, maybe tens of thousands of fake people die on television or in the movies and usually in fairly grotesque fashion. This was the autumn of 1982, what I thought of for many years as the worst time of my life, though later on I’d change that assessment. What happens is that you stop making absolutes about such things as the best and worst days, weeks, months or years of your life and you’re able to view things a bit more dispassionately, once you understand that most things that seem horrible in the moment can morph into something like experience or blind chance.This is particularly true now that I think about how the person I saw killed wasn’t even someone I knew, that I was one of millions who saw him killed, that what haunts me still about his death is probably more about my own fears, about how the ultimate good fortune about that year is that I am still here, still remembering, still trying to make things right in my mind."
A new essay-type-thing is in The New Guard. And by "essay-type-thing" I mean: A letter to the Wonder Twins. It's one of the most fucked up things I've ever committed to paper, which says a lot since I once wrote a column about selling my used socks online and now, years later, still get emails from people who desire my genetic material in a sock. So. Yeah. Unintended consequences abound. This one is, at least, less likely to get me emails from people who want my old underwear, so that's nice. Here's a brief sample:
"I remember when you joined the Super Friends as impetuous shape shifting alien teenagers, as if you’d ever fit in. Yes, yes, they called themselves the Super Friends, but these heroes were grown men and women with lives of their own, with anger and sadness and bitterness in their past: Superman with his father issues and the sure knowledge that he wasn’t half the journalist Lois Lane was; Aquaman, with his webbed hands a persistent reminder that no woman would ever be able to hold him, his gross deformity no more heroic than a bleeding cyst; Batman and Robin, mere men in capes, nothing special about them at all, except for those nights in the Bat Cave when Alfred would quietly masturbate them both, the millionaire and his boy companion play things for their butler...a man who knew their darkest secrets and preyed on them; and dear, sweet, Wonder Woman, the sadist, with her golden whip and false jingoism, claiming to love America and yet flying an invisible plane. Who was she hiding from? What was her secret?"