Monday, September 18, 2006

Attended Rusty and Ken's book release party yesterday at Diesel, A Bookstore for their new title, Paraspheres, from their baby, Omnidawn Publishing.

Paraspheres was conceived of and published as a way to expose Latin America's magical realism literary styles and themes on a more global scale, and is flying the flag of the "New Fabulists." Of course, there are many gringo authors who have been writing in this style for some time, most notably one of my favorites, Rikki Ducornet (who also lends her words to this anthology as well as the introduction) but this is one of the first anthologies to surface, and it is very well done.

Superb pieces at the reading, all different, all touching and complex in their own way, and all with that enchanting glint of magic running like a vein of gold throughout. Amongst the 7 readers -- all excellent -- Charlie Anders spoke as one of a power couple (she a med student, he a law student), mad for each other's love but unable to reconcile their equally mad schedules in order to capitalize on that love, and their so-crazy-it-just-might-work scheme to take turns in cryogenic freezing to allow the other to complete their studies and preserve their love for a later, less hectic date. Carol Schwalberg regaled us with the story of Annie, an artist no longer struggling to make ends meet, but with the guilt over her Jewish identity amid a marriage to a good, safe, secure, but ultimately boring Protestant named Frank, and her dreamtime visitations from the strict and oh so Orthodox Moish, who wants to marry her and make her the proper Jewish girl she never was. And Laura Moriarty, poet and Deputy Director at Small Press Distribution stunned with an excerpt from her latest book, Ultravioleta -- a poem, a war, a narrative, a song, and a science fiction novel all as one.

Pick up Paraspheres directly from Omnidawn, Small Press Distribution, or Diesel, A Bookstore (links above). And if you're local to the Bay or visiting San Francisco soon, check out Omnidawn's second reading for Paraspheres on Thursday, September 28 at City Lights Books, where Rikki Ducornet will be flying in from Colorado to read her contribution. See you there.

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