1 - I will be a "literary debutante" for One Story this spring!
2 - Birds of a Lesser Paradise has been chosen as a March 2012 Indie Next pick.
I'm also excited for Lauren Groff - her third book Arcadia is an Indie Next pick as well. I've been following Lauren's work since reading her story L. Debard and Aliette in the 2006 Atlantic Fiction issue. I was sitting in an airport, angry over my non-creative existence and frequent business travel, and looking for inspiration. The issue (which I still have) was fantastic; I anxiously read Tim Gautreaux's story "The Safe." But Lauren's story made me ache. The first line has been stuck in my head for years: "He is at first a distant wave, the wake-wedge of a loon as it surfaces." Read this story! Read it now!
I'll have the honor of reading with Lauren in Boston and NYC in March. Perhaps some literary relationships are a matter of professional convenience, the utterances of praise a little forced. That is not the case for me here. I came to Lauren's work first as a fan. She is honest, economical, playful, insightful, and inventive, but what always astounds me is her facility with language. Her lines give me obscene bouts of writer's envy.
So there are many perks of being a new writer: galleys, farcical debutante balls with talented peers sponsored by a journal you love, seeing your own work in print. But getting to read with one of the people who made you want to write in the first place - that's cool.
(Picture of my one-eyed cat Pi roaring over Lauren's book.)