One Thousand Scheherazades and Folktales Three Ways

Alcée Fortier doesn’t get it. He’s spent decades listening, absorbing, and translating a vast collection of stories recounted by the humans living in and around the great estate of Le Petit Versailles built by his grandfather – the first to refine sugar in Louisiana – Valcour Aimé. It is a strange fact that the old […]

On Genre

So I’m writing a book. Rather, I wrote a book. A novel. Years ago – when it had emerged from the hatchery but was still weak and blind and needed basically everything from me – I bashfully called it a “project.” After a few months of nurturing it, I told a few family members about […]

The Tie That Wears the Man: Choking Uniformity in I Called Him Necktie

Every day from nine to six, a salaryman sits on a park bench. Unable to tell his wife he’s lost his job, the man boards the same train he has boarded for thirty years, bento box in hand. At noon each day he unwraps the box and slowly, in great contemplation, chews each bite. I […]

The Ghost of Mardi Gras

Click on blue title to read this post in your browser. Storytelling runs deep in the Ozarks. I grew up in the kiddie pools of it, but always waded over to the adult tables at picnics and reunions. If you ever get the chance, listen to some Ozark stories. Rest assured you’ll be either laughing […]

Freshly Baked Books: A Review of The Bohemians by Ben Tarnoff

  Before the American coasts were joined by a railroad, there was still magic in the world. OK, maybe not dragons and stuff, but the Far West – the “grand social experiment” in California – was a fascinating caldron of pioneers from the East, luckless prospectors, Latino gentry, and Chinese immigrants. They were financed by […]