David Gates photographed by Mary McCormick
David Gates is many things. He’s a former journalist for Newsweek. A musician playing in three bands. A teacher in the University of Montana’s MFA program. He’s a writer, of course, and lately he’s been a writer wondering if he’s past his prime.
This is a trend for characters in his new book—his first in 16 years—A Hand Reached Down To Guide Me, a moving and nuanced collection of stories and one novella filled with aging artists, parents ...
Authors of WAR OF THE ENCYLCOPAEDISTS
Christopher Robinson & Gavin Kovite
If you didn’t know better, you’d assume that Christopher Robinson and Gavin Kovite were brothers by the way they talk together.
Even speaking from two different locations for a conference call interview, they find a natural rhythm together, they finish each other’s thoughts, and they are quick to laugh. It’s the sort of chemistry that shows itself in the pages of their first novel, War of the Encyclopaedists, which they wrote together over the span of five years. ...
Author of ECSTATIC CAHOOTS and PAPER LANTERN
Stuart Dybek photographed by Jon Randolph.
Anyone familiar with Stuart Dybek knows that he often writes about love, or to put it more bluntly, sex.
That’s certainly true in Dybek’s two new collections (his first books since 2003’s critically acclaimed I Sailed With Magellan). Ecstatic Cahoots is a collection of 50 short shorts, many of which are experimental, a notch closer to poetry in form if not on the sentence level. His longer, more developed stories are found in Paper Lantern: Love Stories, which is clearly ...
Cynthia Bond photographed by Jay Harris.
Some of the first stories Cynthia Bond ever heard were born from scars. As a child, she studied the scars scattered across the body of her mother, who gained most of them from growing up on a farm near Liberty, a small African-American town in East Texas.
“We’d point to a scar and we’d say, ‘Tell us that story,’ ” Bond says. “Each scar was like a chapter. That town was woven into my entire youth.”
She learned ...
Owen Egerton photographed by Todd Wolfson.
Considering the subjects of Owen Egerton’s stories—a sexually frustrated man who’s obsessed with his own penis before it literally jumps ship from his body, Christian camp leaders purposely martyring themselves to inspire kids to turn to Christ, a writer who gives up on words to focus on finding the perfect poop after pictures of his defecations sweep the art world—it should be no surprise the Austin-based writer believes in what he calls “the power of play.”
“Even when you’re ...
Mary Miller photographed by Dolores Ulmer.
Growing up in a devout Catholic home in Jackson, Miss., Mary Miller experimented with rebellion now and then. There would be evenings when she and her friends would skip Sunday school—required because they did not go to a Catholic high school—and smoke cigarettes at the nearby Shoney’s. The moments were fun but fleeting.
“We knew we had to get our asses to church to meet our parents,” she says. “It wasn’t something we were going to get away with ...