Monday, March 9, 2020

Michael Zapata

Michael Zapata is a founding editor of the award-winning MAKE Literary Magazine. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction; the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program award; and a Pushcart Nomination. As an educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing drop out students. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and has lived in New Orleans, Italy, and Ecuador. He currently lives in Chicago with his family.

Zapata's new novel is The Lost Book of Adana Moreau.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai, translated by Ottilie Mulzet

In November 2019, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming won the National Book Award for translated literature. If anything, this is one indication that a certain type of strange and mad literature, with all its vast interiority and mind-bending possibility, is still vital in the data drowned 21st century. In Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, there is the Professor, “one of the three most important moss experts in the entire world,” his embittered daughter, a proto-fascist biker gang, immigrants, and, yes, Baron Wenckheim himself, an exiled 19th century-like tragic-romantic returning to his childhood home in Hungary to see once again the girl he loved, more or less, from a distance as a boy. Of course, there are others, a fully realized town, a choral vortex of town residents, limning the abyss. Reading this book is both an act of literary faith and like entering a labyrinth with no possible return. Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is an absurd, singular, and acute joy to read.
Visit Michael Zapata's website.

--Marshal Zeringue