Monday, February 26, 2007

Chris Miller versus T. Coraghessan Boyle

Chris has what we Cubans call cojones. (translations: chutzpah, balls)

If you've read his blog
, you already know that speaking his mind comes easily and quite, quite baldly. (Chris, do you even have hair, man?)

But now he's comparing his short story collection to that of a named author of literary fiction, whose work you know actually is LITERARY cause they make you read it in college. That's generally a sign. Unless it's a course entitled, "All the Pop and Genre Trash Fiction You Shouldn't Waste Your Time Reading or Writing." That would be a giveaway that they weren't gonna assign Cheever or Carver or that Canadian gal whose always in The New Yorker and whose name eludes me at the moment, oh, yeah, Alice Munro, or, you know, real living writers like T. Coraghessan Boyle. He of THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE.

Sorry, I got a mite sarcastic. I'll blame it on Chris.

Anyhow, Chris writes:

Read T. C. Boyle’s latest collection, The Human Fly, last week. Also self-published my own first one, The Inevitable Roundness of Everything. I’m pretty sure Boyle’s cover story’s based on Frenchman, Alain Roberts, who’s scaled over seventy skyscrapers—all the world’s tallest buildings—without the aid of any equipment whatsoever, most of them after he broke both his forearms (and a lot of other stuff too) in a fifteen-meter head-first fall and spent five days in a coma and was told he’d never walk again. Boyle’s Human Fly spends a couple weeks hanging off the side of a tall building, takes a short flight strapped to the wing of a DC-10, and then dies in a Knievel-esque motorcycle jump after riding cross-country beneath a big-rig. He wants to be famous. I’d considered How Shit Gets Handed Down for my collection’s title, but then, in deference to the reality that most copies will go to immediate family members as Christmas presents, changed it to the aforementioned one about a guy who drinks green tea and takes leaks at work but can’t remember if he’s used the washroom for his last trip and so kind of retraces his steps to see if he’s maybe pissed somewhere else like on the floor or in a mop pail. He’s afraid of the future. I guess a lot of my stories have “me” in them.

Clearly, Chris needs to take fewer breaths than I do. And, that last bit about the guy tracking his "path of piss" cracked me up. I like absurdity.

Anyway, head on over and take a look at his collection's artsy cover. It's a nice cover, yes, but Chris, it's not the best ever. Deal with it, snarky.


David Stefanini said...

I love the blog that you have. I was wondering if you would link my blog to yours and in return I would do the same for your blog. If you want to, my site name is American Legends and the URL is:

If you want to do this just go to my blog and in one of the comments just write your blog name and the URL and I will add it to my site.


Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha, thanks for the plug Mir. As you can see from my picture(s) on the back cover, I am not bald.

I'll admit to being a little tongue-and-cheek re the inside of the collection, but dammit woman, I'll stand by the cover. Unless you can show me a better one on another collection.


Anonymous said...

The link you posted is to an old review of a piece by Jane Lebak. was that intentional?

Here's the one you're "bitching" about:

But seriously, thanks for reading and commenting Mir.

Mirtika said...

Sorry, that was just a mistake. It is now corrected. I had two windows open, one to the story collection, one to the Jane critique (which I happened upon at TSR), and I confused the url when I posted.

And hi, David S, thanks for dropping by. I don't exchange links. All the links on my sidebar are there just cause those are sites I liked and visited more than once, and thought my blog readers might enjoy. And I'm lazy about adding more cause, well, I'm lazy about messing with templates.

But thanks for offering.


Anonymous said...

I think you just responded to spam here Mir. And so politely too. Don't you hate that.