Tonight, New Year’s Day, on Bibliocracy, KPFK 90.7 FM: Novelist KEENAN NORRIS. The arrival of Keenan Norris’s first full-length work of fiction ends, happily, the anticipation he’s generated among fans of a young writer and scholar, an author so far of winning short stories. It’s been acknowledged with his novel, Brother and the Dancer chosen as winner of the 2012 James D. Houston Award. This is a big deal indeed, publication of a work of fiction honoring the late, legendary
California writer and teacher Jim Houston,
the second of Heyday’s annual selections.
Norris grew up and was educated in the Inland Empire, holds an MFA from Mills College
and a PhD from the University of California, Riverside.
His research interests include urban literature and the publishing industry. He
teaches English, African-American Literature and promotes the AFFIRM program at
College in .
His work, both fiction and nonfiction, has appeared in the Santa Monica
Review, Green Mountains Review, and Evansville Review, the
online journal Connotation Press,
in the terrific anthology, Inlandia: A Literary Journey Through California’s
Inland Empire, and BOOM: A Journal of California. He is
editing Scarecrow Press’s upcoming collection of critical essays Street
Lit: Popularity, Controversy & Analysis and lives in the San
Francisco Bay Area. This debut novel
traces the life choices of two African American young people from Highland,
California, exploring race, class, and geography in an idiomatic and intimate,
sociological and yet personal dual coming-of-age novel. Urgent and
philosophical, political and poetic, this novel marks, as they say, the bright beginning
of a career by a talented young writer.
Thanks for listening. Happy New
Year. San Jose, California
Friday, December 20, 2013
Tonight on Bibliocracy, Christmas Day, 8 PM on KPFK: KATE MILLIKEN. It’s a real pleasure to celebrate a long-time writer whose individual successes add up lately to recognition and celebration. For my guest Kate Milliken this comes from winning the
most excellent John Simmons Short Fiction Award for If I’d Known You Were Coming, a collection of
twelve just plain breathtaking short stories.
Kate Milliken’s characters don’t so much try to reconcile absence and
loss as live with it, work it, and test its power. Milliken’s voice and stylized, economical
prose is striking in its engagement with what is gone, missing – nearly and
sometimes as if what is gone is a character itself. Milliken’s characters are mostly missing
parents, missing children, missing in all senses of the word. Kate Milliken’s stories have appeared in ZYZZYVA, Fiction, New Orleans Review,
and, yes, University of Iowa Review. This is a gorgeous and totally satisfying collection of stories.
If you’d like more rhapsodic appreciation from me, check out the review I
posted over at OC Bookly: http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2013/12/kate_milliken.php. Thanks for listening. Happy Holidays from The Bibliofella. Santa Monica
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Tonight at 8 PM on Bibliocracy: JERRY STAHL. His many fans enjoy the challenge of describing the perverse pleasure of reading and envying the work of my guest tonight --- if not his life! --- fiction writer, screenwriter and memoirist Jerry Stahl. Lydia Lunch calls his work “literary burlesque.” It’s fun to try to characterize his singularly, manically engaged work: social commentary, drug culture confidential, adolescent coming-of-age,
Hollywood inside scooper. He’s a stand-up William Burroughs, a noir Don
Dellilo, a Pynchonian fabulist whose sharp eye and dark wit convince and engage
immediately. See, it’s easy? And fun.
I, by the way, like Nathaneal West meets Terry Southern, but then you
don’t need to appreciate other iconic writers to appreciate this iconic writer. Start anywhere and be introduced to the voice
and composition and timing and humor which create and then repurpose satire for
sincere autobiography, survival and, with the new novel, Happy Mutant Baby Pills, political critique and something perhaps
even like hope. JERRY STAHL has written
widely, for television and for film, but you can read his fiction and
nonfiction in the memoir Permanent
Midnight, in the novels Perv and I, Fatty and in a short story
collection, Love Without. And it turns out he’s also KPFK
listener-supporter, and has even gleefully sent up the station in the new book. Don’t miss my half hour with one of my
favorite writers. Thanks for
listening. No Bibliocracy for the rest
of December. Instead, Fund Drive and a
couple of holidays. Back in
January. Listen live on the radio or
online, and as a free download from the station’s audio archives, free for 90
days from broadcast. Thanks to engineer Stan Misraje. Friend me and KPFK 90.7 FM on Facebook.