New review by Peter Tennant in Black Static 12 of The Painting and the City, part of a group of reviews of three other recent titles from PS. He says: “Wexler’s novel is uniquely his own, a slippery thing that, just when you think you’ve got a firm hold on it, is off somewhere else entirely.”
Are available here, courtesy of Ellen Datlow. Here’s a photo of Kaaron Warren and me, at some point pre- or post-reading.
Day two, written some in the morning of day three, some the evening. That’s how it goes sometimes. I can’t blog when I’m not at a computer then, can I?
Day two was all about the reading (being which it was the reason for the trip). I didn’t feel like doing a lot during the day, and the heat made doing difficult. Walking, quick trip to Pearl River to look for children’s chopsticks (the kind with the little finger clip on one side). Merida is still too small for said clip, but apparently they keep growing. Children, not clips.
Then on to Pearl Paint (no relation) to get cartridges for my Parker fountain pen, and was astonished and disappointed to see how the pen department there has been decimated. And the man working there didn’t even know if they had cartridges and sent me down an aisle that didn’t have any. There were cartridges at the counter that may have fit, but I didn’t have my pen on me and didn’t feel like risking it. This is for my replacement-Parker, that I bought on Ebay for $25 after losing my other one in Austin, after World Fantasy, I think at the Flight Path Cafe but when I called the person didn’t know what a fountain pen was…a pen I had bought at Pearl Paint as a $10 close-out from the Pen Guy, who must still be taking care of pens somewhere if not at Pearl Paint. The Pen Guy would have known what cartridges to use. However, my replacement Parker came with an ink converter, but when I bought the first Parker, the Pen Guy told me that the barrel of the pen was too small for a converter. Could Pen Guy have been wrong?
Arrived after a blissfully uneventful flight, train from Newark to Penn Station, and crappy taxi drive through unpleasant clogs of traffic. It’s fucking hot. Which I knew it would be, but it’s been a long time since I’ve experienced New York pavement-heat.
The room wasn’t ready so I walked around in the heat, had Malaysian lunch at Nyonya, an old favorite, then off to the Angelika Film Center to see what’s playing, pick up a Village Voice, and, most important, sit in a comfy chair in the nice air conditioned lobby.
But best of all, I found Grand Sausages in its new location on Elizabeth. The name is now Deluxe Food Market (because it’s no longer on Grand Street), but it has the same array of prepared foods waiting for me. I’d forgotten about their curry chicken, and then, there it was. I’ll get something there for dinner and bring it back to the room, although in their nice shiny new space they have tables.
Friday nights reading at Brother Bear’s Cafe went well, nice-sized audience, some book sales. My wife, Rebecca Kuder read first, a section of her novel-in-progress, The Eight Mile Suspended Carnival, and I read the prologue to my novella-in-progress, called (for now) New Springdale (for new thing set in Springdale), and then I read from The Painting and the City.
And, when I got home and checked my email I had a nice little surprise. An offer from a French publisher for The Painting and the City. More details after contracts etc. For now, I’ll just say, Yay! and Wow! and I owe Sébastien Doubinsky.
On Tuesday I’m off to New York for my KGB reading. Which is Wednesday August 19th, 7pm at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.), NY, NY.
I’ve been working on another novella set in Springdale, the fictitious New England village made famous by my first book, In Springdale Town. I’m playing around with various things, trying to move the characters along from here to there and there to here, and figured out one of the problems I was having. Which will take some fixing but that’s how it goes. I would prefer to keep going to the end, but stopping and fixing will make the rest of the journey easier.
The Painting and the City reviewed by Lisa Tuttle in the Sunday Times: A “haunting tale from a distinctive new voice.” Read the whole review here.
PS Publishing is running a 60 percent off summer sale. Which means that remaining copies of In Springdale Town, in jacketed hardcover, are now £10.00 / $16.00. This is a numbered edition of 200 copies, each signed by myself and the introducer, Lucius Shepard.
“Wexler writes of small-town America with the same regard to detail and unnerving surreality as David Lynch. Just when you think you have a grip on what’s happening in Springdale town, its two main characters, and the story’s plot, Wexler rearranges the whole game with, I have to say it again, Lynchian instinct. With footnotes inset to give the page an air of scholarly work, In Springdale Town can’t be neatly fit into the typical contemporary fantasy molds, since as a metafiction, its audience seems to be dwelling outside typical genre boundaries.” Barth Anderson (author of Patron Saint of Plagues and The Magician and the Fool) from the website of the Interstitial Arts Foundation.