Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane is the author of two collections of short stories from Little, Brown, When The Messenger is Hot and All This Heavenly Glory. Her latest collection of stories, You Must Be This Happy to Enter, was published earlier this year.

Last week I asked Crane what she reading. Her reply:
What I've been reading is Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. I realize pretty much everyone has already read this book, but I'm perpetually behind. I almost came to the end of it last night but I had to go to bed fifty pages before the end. The thing about this book is that there was so much hype about it, even more by the time I finally cracked it, that for me it was almost destined to fail in some way. I'm always suspicious when there's that much attention on a book, you know, that isn't mine. You think - there's no way that all these people could be right about this. But honestly, this book had me at hello. Or I should say it had me at We. I've written one or two short stories in first person plural, but to successfully pull off an entire novel this way is no small feat, in my opinion, and yet in the case of this book it seems like there would have been no other choice. The main thing about this book that really strikes me, besides the fact that it's funny and smart and thoroughly readable, besides how much I wanted to stay with all these characters for as long as they'd have me, is that it makes me feel like I could write a novel. That's a trick, though, an illusion the author has unwittingly created, of course, because sometimes that's how great books are, at least for me. There's something so seemingly effortless, so natural about the way that they're written that you think, oh, I could do that! Except not so much.
Elizabeth Crane writing has been featured in publications including Washington Square, New York Stories, Sycamore Review, Book, Florida Review, Eclipse, Bridge, Sonora Review, the Chicago Reader, Sleepwalk, the Believer, McSweeney's Future Dictionary of America, The Banana King, and All Hands On: The 2ndhand Reader.

Visit Crane's website and her blog.

--Marshal Zeringue