Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

Tom Wolfe's passing takes me back to undergrad years and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I loved Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff, but it was Acid Test---published 50 years ago---that made Tom Wolfe electric. We were studying Ken Kesey under Barry Leeds and there was never enough to go around. Cuckoo's Nest … Continue reading Tom Wolfe,1930–2018

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Short Stories from the School for Damaged Children

Deep oppression pervades Brian Booker’s collection of seven stories Are You Here for What I’m Here For? (Bellevue Literary Press, 2016). The mood is confining, suffocating, maddening, the writing evocative of a heart pulsing beneath the floorboards of a cabin far from anywhere. Booker awakens---allays---awakens---allays---and awakens again profound tensions: Something is wrong. Everything is ok. But something is … Continue reading Short Stories from the School for Damaged Children

Heroes In Literature

Among the acknowledgements listed back of my debut novel is Barry H. Leeds, Connecticut State University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at CCSU. Hemingway, Mailer, Kesey—these were the writers Dr. Leeds expounded to us, models who wrote tough, lean sentences and big, enduring books. I worked like hell to write the strong prose Dr. Leeds demanded in his … Continue reading Heroes In Literature