Some good news: Milan-based publisher Baldini & Castoldi has acquired translation rights to Praying Drunk and In the Devil’s Territory. The books will be available to Italian readers in 2016 and 2017.
I’m trying to remember what my grandfather looked like when he was alive and I knew him, but all I have to work from is a photograph taken before my mother was born. Is he on his way to hellraise or to declare whatever sounded enough like undying love to get the yes and the ring? I’m imagining hard and writing hard and drawing hard but I can’t bring him back.
Praying Drunk was selected as one of Powell’s “Best Short Story Collections of the 21st Century (So Far),” keeping some good company: Junot Diaz, Roberto Bolano, Lorrie Moore, Wells Tower, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Munro, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Jess Walter, Lydia Davis, Ben Marcus, David Foster Wallace, and Donald Ray Pollock.
Some unsolicited advice for young writers: There is probably something weird about you, about what you want to do, about how you want to do it. You’re probably not pulling it off yet. But the one piece of advice you should immediately ignore is the suggestion that you shear off the rough edges, regularize, de-complicate, become like whatever the advisor thinks everybody ought to be. Don’t do that. Be yourself. Be weird. Be singular. When the time comes, the thing that will lodge your work in the mind and heart of the readers for whom it will mean so much is the thing that right now is causing people to say the crippling words: No. Don’t. Can’t. Stop.
– Kyle Minor