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Lutz on Hannah

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I Looked Alive: Stories 

Bookslut features a great interview with Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way and I Looked Alive. What originally caught my attention was Lutz’s invocation of the great brawling master, Barry Hannah.

When I was nosing about in bookstores in the mid-eighties, I was eventually struck by certain slim books of prose fiction in which the sentences all but protruded from the page and poked out at me. There was Barry Hannah’s Ray, for instance, and also his Captain Maximus, written in a kind of brawling, roughhouse aphoristicity, and there was the lovely neurotic one-liner-ish lyricism of Amy Hempel’s Reasons to Live. The sentences in those books had a discernible topography, an unignorable spectacularity of contour and relief that was entirely unlike the depthlessness or bodilessness of the sentences I was seeing almost everywhere else.

That quote comes from a discussion about the controversial, but incredibly influential, Gordon Lish. But the whole interview is really solid and definitely recommended.

In addition to his book publications, Lutz also runs the online magazine 5_trope which is also highly recommended.