Monday, November 14, 2011

Stephen Beachy

Stephen Beachy is the author of the novels The Whistling Song and Distortion, as well as the twinned novellas Some Phantom/No Time Flat. His writing has appeared in BOMB, The New York Times Magazine, Chicago Review, Best Gay American Fiction, New York magazine and elsewhere. Raised by an ex-Amish father in Iowa, he now lives in California and teaches at the University of San Francisco.

Beachy's latest novel is boneyard.

Recently I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I've just finished Bhanu Kapil's Humanimal, which I'm teaching in a class on Narrating Nonfiction at USF's MFA Program. I chose it because it straddles the line between Nonfiction and poetry, a weird and interesting line to straddle, and because it serves partially as a speculative investigation of two girls, Amala and Kamala, who were discovered in India in the 20th century being raised by wolves. I can never read enough or think enough about children raised by wolves, both literally and figuratively. Which is kind of like the other wonderful, slim little book I've just read, Jenny Boully's Not Merely Because of the Unknown That Was Stalking Toward Them, a refiguring of everything you know or think you remember about the Peter Pan story. It's a creepy little gem, and I love creepy little gems. “Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them.” It's a strange book, but not as strange as Reza Negarestani's Cyclonopedia: complicity with anonymous materials, which sounds like a philosophical treatise or speculative meteorology paper, and it's kind of both things wrapped up in a horror fiction, a strange, chunky book about Islam and oil and the sort of vast, dark nameless horrors dreamed up by HP Lovecraft. I discovered it because it was on the same list as one of my novels on Amazon's listmania. It's delightful. Next on my “to read” list is R Zamora Linmark's Leche, which I just picked up. It's a kind of sequel to his first novel, Rolling the R's, which is a smart, funny, delirious tale of 5th graders growing up in Hawaii in the 70s. In Leche he takes his x-ray vision of culture and his incredible ear for language to the Philippines.
Visit Stephen Beachy's website; view the boneyard trailer.

My Book, The Movie: boneyard.

--Marshal Zeringue