Friday, May 15, 2015

Dan Pope

Dan Pope is the author of Housebreaking (Simon & Schuster, 2015) and In the Cherry Tree (Picador USA, 2003).

His short stories have appeared in many journals, including Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Iowa Review, McSweeney's (No. 4), Shenandoah, Gettysburg Review, and others.

He is a 2002 graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, where he attended on a Truman Capote Fellowship. He is a winner of the Glenn Schaeffer Award from the International Institute of Modern Letters, and grants in fiction from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

Recently I asked Pope about what he was reading. His reply:
At present I'm reading Telex from Cuba by Rachel Kushner. I picked it up because I kept hearing fantastic things about the author from my writer friends. I can see why now. I'm about halfway through the novel, and she does so many things so effortlessly -- she dips in and out of the heads of a large cast of characters, renders a foreign place (Cuba in the 1950s) with startling sensuousness, and jumps across multiple time frames without losing a beat. There's not so much a plot as an evocation of a lost world.

I'm also nearing the end of The Adults by Alison Espach. I was attracted to this book by its cover, I must admit, in the hardcover version. Plus I must confess a fondness for novels about suburban malaise and misdeeds in Connecticut. And Espach throws in a highschool teacher-student romance, to boot. She's snappy, alert, and hilarious as a writer, and then she sneaks up on you with the heartbreak of her characters. I can't wait to see how it turns out. (At the moment, the main character is walking around Prague with a dead dog in a suitcase. That might sound absurd, but the book is anything but.)
Visit Dan Pope's website.

--Marshal Zeringue