Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kyle Minor

Kyle Minor is the author of two collections of stories: In the Devil’s Territory (2008) and Praying Drunk (2014). He is the winner of the 2012 Iowa Review Prize for Short Fiction and the Tara M. Kroger Prize for Short Fiction, one of Random House’s Best New Voices of 2006, and a three-time honoree in the Atlantic Monthly contest. His work has appeared online at Esquire and Tin House, and in print in The Southern Review, The Iowa Review, Best American Mystery Stories 2008, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers, Forty Stories: New Voices from Harper Perennial, and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Minor's reply:
I just finished reading The Acme Novelty Date Book, Volume One: 1986-1995, by Chris Ware. It's an extraordinary document of ten years of a graphic novelist's daily struggles, drafting processes, notes, studies, and stray thoughts. I was struck first by the beauty of the drawings and watercolor paintings, second by the thoughtfulness of the author as he tries with all his effort to nail down the subjects he's circling, and third by how hard Ware can be on himself, an occupational hazard, I suppose. Above a beautifully drawn graphite streetscape, Ware writes, in red pen: "You're a fucking slouch!" Beneath a miraculously free-handed ink tree, he writes: "You're not looking!" Beside a quick study of a middle-aged woman in a grocery store, he writes: "don't know about this kind of 'shading' under ears."

Never in a million years will I ever make anything as beautiful as Ware's daily workmanship, but I can tell you this: He's no slouch, he was looking all along, and the ears reflected the resignation of the woman so well that for a moment I thought I might have felt what she felt, and what he felt, looking at her.
Learn more about Kyle Minor and his work at his website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue