Gravesend

I interviewed William Boyle about his stunning debut novel Gravesend.

“I used to sit out on my grandparents’ porch with a cassette recorder and tape them talking. And they were always talking about the people passing by, the people parking their cars. So I had a pretty early obsession with the rhythms of what they were saying but also with the wonderful gossipy content. My grandfather would say things like, “Look at this bastard. He lives around the block and he’s gotta park in front of my joint.” 

Check it out at the Los Angeles Review of Books!

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My Childhood Espionage

My essay “Suspecting The Smiths” is up at the Oxford American.

“From the ages of nine to eleven, I worked as a spy. No one paid me, nor did I report my findings to any higher-ups. I discussed my cases with my partner, who went by code name Mountain Chicken Mother of the Buddha. Mountain Chicken also happened to be my identical twin sister, and during morning recess or summer afternoons at the neighborhood pool we let lifeguards, teachers, and stray dogs in on our findings. Eventually, the Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, the Virginia State Police, and the State Corporation Commission got involved. Our next-door neighbors were indicted in September of 1998 by a federal grand jury, Joe Bob on eighteen counts and his wife, Jeannie, on fifteen.”