I interviewed Daniel Grandbois about his first story collection on Amazon. Below find Q&A I couldn’t include and a short-short from Unlucky Lucky Days Daniel was kind enough to let me use here…
What do you love about your favorite short fiction?
The immediacy, the poetry, the brevity!, the experience of a happening, the language play, the unexpectedness, the twistedness, the aliveness, the absurdity and humor that mirror life so well, the voices, the resonances, the impossible meanings, the way it gets beneath language and our normal concepts of sense, the way it gets beneath causal relationships and standardized notions of â€œreality,â€ the ability of a single paragraph of words to open up the mind to new worlds. This is all so much more interesting to me than watching plot develop from characters in a scene, or, in older books, characters develop from plot.
Is short fiction, in your opinion, still vibrant and relevant in the 21st century?
Our minds and emotions as human animals work in far stranger ways than realist/narrative-driven forms can capture and illuminate all on their own. The visual arts have known this for decades, and Beckett, among others, sought to establish this knowledge in the literary arts through his unbelievably good, short, absurd plays. The various short forms in literature seem particularly well suited to take on this role and, thereby, compliment more traditional forms in rounding out our knowledge.
Unlucky Lucky Days
BOA Editions, July 08
He trotted out a horse heâ€™d made of clay and painted yellow in his youth. I asked to touch it. He put it away. Both ears had broken off already.
He placed in my hands a house heâ€™d made of Popsicle sticks and decorated with patterned fabric and lace.
Inside, a pair of hairy horse ears twitched and turned.
Jumping the box, they listened at his bedroom door, sticking to it like thick-bodied spiders. He pried and pulled, but they burrowed into the wood until only the hairs were left. He shaved them off.
But he couldnâ€™t sleep with the ears in his door. I held a match to the ovals of darkened wood. They came backing out, shriveled in the flames and dropped to the floor.
Retrieving his clay horse, Svevo glued on its ears.
â€œEvery seventeen years,â€ he said. â€œLike locusts.â€