I’ve never read Joy Williams, but now I’m going to seek her out. All because of this article by Lincoln Michel. She does a great job of spelling out what a short story should do, while giving her view of humanity and mentioning the current corporate nature of writing workshops. (Agree or disagree?)
I read Tolstoy’s “Master and Man” recently, and it seems to be sticking with me. I can’t get it out of my head as the winter continues. I was reading an interview in VICE with the woman who refused Marlon Brando’s Oscar, Sacheen Littlefeather, and the short story popped up again in an unexpected way. She mentions sleeping inside a horse during a snowstorm to avoid the cold. It crossed my mind that Tolstoy’s characters would have both survived, had they known to do this.
Anyhow, here’s an article from The Guardian a few years back that covers “Master and Man.”
This is a great Q&A with Charles Bukowski’s publisher, John Martin, of Black Sparrow Press. In it, he says he never saw Bukowski drunk in 30 years. He also talks about his deferential nature, and his routine and his work ethic, which no one ever seems to mention. Bukowski wrote every night.
I read Barry Gifford’s story, “Haircut,” today in VICE. You should, too. Having read some of his books, I think the boy in it is an older version of Roy, who appeared in Gifford’s novella Wyoming, which is fantastic. Most people probably know Gifford (if they know him) as writer of the novel Wild at Heart that David Lynch adapted into the film, and he was also co-writer of Lost Highway with Lynch.