Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kevin Fenton

Kevin Fenton lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota and works as an advertising writer and creative director. His fiction has appeared in the Northwest Review, the Laurel Review, and the Emprise Review. His writing on graphic design has been anthologized in Looking Closer 2 and Emigre No. 70: The Look Back Issue. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

His new novel is Merit Badges.

Recently, I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I’m currently reading Jane Leavy’s The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle, although I’m reading it more slowly than I’d like because I’ve been so busy lately. It’s a uniquely grown-up biography in that it’s not about the hero-worship of childhood or the disenchantment that comes in adolescence when you first realize that your heroes are flawed. Instead, Leavy’s book presents the man in full, as both hero and human. The Last Boy also shows how profoundly satisfying it can be to read researched, long-form writing: her retelling of the first tape measure home run is a great human story and it’s just one small part of the book. Blogs and tweets and status updates can do a lot of wonderful things but they can’t do what researched story telling can and I so hope we don’t lose this form.

I’m also currently enjoying a book of photography—From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America. I was originally attracted to Soth’s work because when I was at Mass MOMA in North Adams, MA, I stumbled upon a photograph he did of a Winona boathouse. It takes me a long time to put into words what I like about photography so I don’t want to say anything glib. The photographs of places I knew seemed to be true to the essence of the place, though.
Visit the Merit Badges website and Kevin Fenton's blog.

The Page 69 Test: Merit Badges.

--Marshal Zeringue