Monday, August 26, 2013

Tracy Guzeman

Tracy Guzeman lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Vestal Review, and Glimmer Train Stories.

Her new book, The Gravity of Birds, is her first novel.

A couple of weeks ago I asked the author about what she was reading. Guzeman's reply:
After working on a long project (first novel) and starting another (second novel), I’m drawn to the crisp borders of the short story. Right now I’m reading Andrea Barrett’s new collection, Archangel, and Rebecca Lee’s Bobcat and Other Stories. I am an ardent Andrea Barrett fan; I confess to semi-stalking her at a writing conference where my efforts were rewarded when I found myself standing in back of her in the coffee line. In both her novels and story collections, her characters are people I’m fascinated by: individuals with a passion for defining the unknown and explaining the unfathomable, by setting ablaze the precise boundaries of science and illuminating its cold, dark corners. Science writers, x-ray technicians, geneticists… what happens when their elegant theorems are transmogrified into messy human behavior? I can never wait to find out. Rebecca Lee’s stories are a revelation, with their sharp humor and often sad, insightful wisdom. From her story “Settlers,” how I would love to have written, “I was there with David Booth. He had even picked me up in his little car. Looking back, this was the night I silently broke up with him, even though we weren’t dating.” I can immediately picture the two of them in that little car, and feel the narrator’s silent regret for the couple she has imagined they might be, and then is forced to dismiss.

I’m also devouring Abelardo Morell’s gorgeous book of photographs, The Universe Next Door. Not being a photographer in any way, shape or form, and being unfamiliar with the correct terminology, I can only tell you that his camera obscura photographs, with landscapes projected onto interior walls, make you feel like you’ve traveled through the looking glass. It’s a wonderful book to spend time with when you need to transport yourself to some other, slightly off-kilter realm. And what fiction writer doesn’t want to be in a world like that?
Visit Tracy Guzeman's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue