This persistent little book has just entered a new printing — its fifth — the first to feature any editorial changes. Over at the Invisiblog I wrote about that small change, and why it felt necessary to do now.
I’ll be hitting the road soon to bring my one-note act to beautiful western Massachusetts, reading at the opening of To Cause a Tiger in Easthampton. Join us!
This promises to be a good one. If you’re in Peterborough, please consider coming!
The Seattle Mariners’ history is one long tale of woe studded with infrequently dazzling displays of capability, with all of it adding up to exactly zero championships. I say this as someone who has counted several Mariners as his favorite players. There’s no logic to this, just as there’s no relief from the routine cruelties of time and money. It just is.
— “Every Fifth Day,” the last entry in the season-long The Bottom of the Order series, for Hobart
I’ll be at The Word on the Street in Toronto this Sunday, September 22, reading and in conversation with Giller-longlisted short story master K.D. Miller (!) on a panel called Emotional Landscapes. We’re in the Vibrant Voices of Ontario tent at 11:00 AM. Join us!
The cherry and strawberry seasons have passed; the apples are reddening. Only a few games remain. A Pit Spitter lays down a bunt, and the runner on third crashes in: a perfect suicide squeeze.
— “Snap, Go, Fling,” for Hobart
The thing I can’t wrap my head around, when it comes to the 2003 Detroit Tigers, is what it must have been like to show up to work every day. What must it have taken, as the losses mounted – up to and including the 119th, the most defeats ever amassed by an American League team, and tied with the ’62 Mets for the most losses in major league history – to rouse oneself for the excruciating daily repetition of a very public abasement?
Horace Guy Womack was in the employ of four different Major League teams across five seasons, a serviceable bullpen righty who lost as many games as he won, but managed to keep his lifetime ERA a shade below three. There’d be no reason to know his name, probably, if he didn’t have such a great one: he went by Dooley, for reasons which are less than clear at this remove.
— “Dooley Womack,” for Hobart
I think about Pedro Guerrero sometimes. More than is normal, or healthy, I’d guess.
— “Pedro Guerrero,” for Hobart
“Graceland,” one of the dozen stories in Lands and Forests, is now available at the All Lit Up blog, along with a short interview, as part of their celebration of Short Story Month.