[BOOK TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] Kissing the Lizard by Justin David @InkandescentUK @Justin_Writer #KissingTheLizard

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Today is my stop on the Kissing The Lizard by Justin David (a prequel to The Pharmacist) online book tour and I’m sharing a book extract with you.

I leave you with the wonderful extract of Kissing The Lizard:

BOOK EXTRACT

Old Compton Street is simmering. Jamie registers the summer joy outside the coffee shop and rests his chin on a hand with listless resignation. Everyone has gone wild at the first sign of moderate sunlight. T-shirts are wrenched from milky torsos, men kiss in the street, shirtless bikers ride roughshod through Soho. Everyone’s leaving work early to grab what they can of the rays. Businessmen drink beer in the street, abandoning ties, collars undone at the neck. Jamie can’t join in. He’s cut off. Three years an art student, in the capital, and no closer to being part of it.

The broken air conditioning in The Crêperie has resulted in a thick haze of steam and smoke.

‘Do you think we’ll ever see America?’ Billy asks, looking up from a book. He draws deeply on a Marlboro—a duty-free gift from when Jamie’s mum and dad spent a package holiday in Magaluf. He exhales into the already choked room.

‘I don’t know,’ Jamie says, waving away smoke. ‘I’m not convinced I’ll ever get back to London, let alone reach the States.’

‘Well you’re here now, aren’t you?’

‘For one more night but then I have to go back to that wretched place,’ Jamie says, rolling up the sleeves of his paisley shirt and unbuttoning his waistcoat.

Billy places the fag in his mouth and leafs through the other books Jamie has piled up on the table, next to a ball of loose red wool and his length of knitting impaled on size eight needles. A volume about alien abductions by Whitley Strieber provokes a curl from Billy’s lip. Another one—Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway—incites a cartoon scowl. He holds up a third book and frowns. ‘The Prophetic Insights,’ he says. ‘Really?’

‘I’m searching.’

‘What for? The knit-your-own-aura-brigade?’

Jamie returns to the accommodation pages of Time Out. ‘Nothing under seventy-five pounds a week.’

‘Well if you hadn’t run back to Mummy and Daddy so quickly…’

‘I didn’t have any money, Billy.’

Billy stares at Jamie’s hair. ‘You could save ten pounds a month if you stopped bleaching that mop.’

A clique of art students Jamie recognises from St. Martin’s cackle over cappuccinos near the window. Plates clatter. A radio crackles, losing and regaining its signal—issuing a broken chorus of Tubthumping by Chumbawumba. The coffee shop is full of French and Germans and Turks and Americans. Everyone else seems to be having a great time.

‘If you’d taken that job with the magazine you’d be on an all-expenses paid trip to India by now.’

Jamie throws the Time Out across the table. Billy, still within the cosy confines of his final year, hasn’t yet felt freedom slipping away.

‘Free holidays don’t pay the rent,’ Jamie says. ‘If I could afford to work for nothing, I’d have a huge portfolio and a contract at The Guardian—not living back with my parents in the arse end of nowhere.’

A tanned rent-boy brushes past the table—an outline of an unfinished William Morris design peeking out of a loosely buttoned shirt. Jamie watches Billy’s eyes trail his studded leather belt and bubble-butt. The youth takes his window seat, from where he has solicited every weekend during Jamie’s time at art school.

‘Some folks know how to make money,’ Billy says. 

‘You’re meant to be with me, not eyeing up the local trade.’

Billy leans across the table and takes Jamie’s hand. Jamie pulls back but Billy holds on tight. ‘This is Soho. Not the West Midlands. You think anyone gives a shit if I hold your hand?’

Billy squeezes even tighter. He is looking into Jamie, his gentle opalescent eyes lined with kohl. Jamie feels himself yield. ‘Maybe you should take more notice of those books you read—meditate or something.’

Hard to stay positive, Jamie thinks. ‘You know, that talentless bitch, Saffron Delany—’

‘Still gnawing away at that bone?’

‘She left St Martin’s last year and did three months at Vogue without pay. She’s done pop videos, photo shoots and now she’s famous for doing fuck all. Can’t open a newspaper without seeing her smug face. This time next year, her father will probably buy her Channel Four for her birthday and she’ll be married to Lance Lewes.’

Billy laughs. ‘It won’t last. Everyone knows he’s got a touch of lavender. You’ll get your chance.’

‘Will I?’ Jamie asks.

‘Anything is possible,’ Billy continues. ‘I might win one of those photographic competitions I entered. Who knows?

I could get a big contract.’

‘You’re deluded, Billy. It doesn’t happen to people like us.’

‘Oh, here comes Tess of the D’Urbervilles again.’

‘When I finished my degree, I thought I’d be on my way—list of contacts, a little place to live in London. Look at me now—working a supermarket checkout. Mother’s driving me mad.’

Billy nods at the books on the table. ‘She’ll wipe the floor with you if she catches you reading that rubbish.’

Billy’s right. Gloria has a temperament neatly suited to British border control. Jamie touches the cover of The Prophetic Insights protectively. ‘It’s the key.’

Billy picks up the book and reads the blurb. ‘From six-hundred hours of channelling extra-terrestrials, Prunella Small brings to us a new wisdom for the New Age. For anyone questioning an ever more confusing cosmos, The Prophetic Insights offer the reassurance and knowledge required to go beyond fear and trust the universe.’ He drops the book on the table as if having discovered a turd in his hand. ‘We’ve got to get you out of this situation. Up there, you’re not surrounded by people who can nurture you. We’ve got to get you back to London.’

‘I’m twenty-two. There are things I should have done by now. List of clubs I should know. I want to publish a novel before I’m thirty.’

‘Come on, what are you having?’ Billy urges. ‘We’ve sent the waitress away twice.’

Jamie fingers the space in his wallet where he might keep a few notes. Empty. ‘I’m not hungry.’

‘I’ll treat you.’ Billy turns the menu to Jamie—an entirely vegetarian selection, couscous, pancakes stuffed with spinach—the sort of fare that bores him rigid.

Jamie sighs. ‘I—’

‘Don’t be proud. You can pay me back later.’

Over Billy’s shoulder, a very tall man is walking in, carrying a satchel and a carrier bag of baguettes. His overall look is disco backpacker—citrus neon green t-shirt underneath a sleeveless maroon pullover, shorts, walking-boots with neon coloured rolled over socks. A long, thin face on a bulbous head,

accentuated by a closely shaven hairstyle—skin taut and shiny. The man cranes over Billy who’s smiling unconvincingly. As the man’s satchel swings forward, Jamie notices a fabric I heart USA badge sewn onto one of the front pockets.

‘I thought it was you,’ the man blurts, gay as a daffodil. ‘I saw you as I was walking past.’ He ruffles the fronds of Billy’s dyed black spikes. ‘How the devil are you?’

Billy angles his face to the man, who towers over him like a giant stick insect. He obviously can’t remember this guy’s name and Jamie enjoys letting this run on, briefly, until he weakens. ‘I could wait forever for an introduction. Hi. I’m Jamie.’

‘He’s so rude, isn’t he?’ the tall man laughs. ‘Matthew. Pleased to make your acquaintance.’ He extends a long limp-wristed arm, hands littered with silver, slightly loose on bony fingers.

Jamie winks at Billy. ‘Lovely to meet you, Matthew,’ he says, watching Billy relax.

He shakes Matthew’s hand and as their gazes meet, his eyes seem to move, vibrate almost, from side to side. Jamie is first to look away.

‘Well, what a surprise to see you, Billy, in a vegetarian bistro, of all places. I thought you were a meat eater.’

There’s an affected air about this man, behind an attempt at received pronunciation, Jamie detects an undisguisable top-note of guttural North, which brings to mind the telephone voice his mother uses to ingratiate herself with the more genteel classes, or else trying to get her own way when returning an item of silk lingerie to Marks and Spencer’s.

‘Room for one more?’ Before Billy can reply, Matthew slides into the banquette. The waitress walks over and hands him a menu. ‘I was only stopping for tea.’ In the early evening sunlight, his complexion has an unnatural greenish tinge, somewhere between vomit and chlorophyll. Fresh scratches criss-cross his sinuous arm. Could he be ill? Twenty-eight? Thirty? It’s not beyond comprehension. Jamie knows three men, at least, who died of AIDS in the last half year.

‘Gardening,’ Matthew lifts his arms. ‘Bloody rose bushes.’

Jamie reproaches himself. His morbid conclusions are ignorant. Though there’s something about Matthew—his clothes, his manner—unlike anyone else he’s encountered.

‘I finished my shift at the bakery. Just popped into the Chinese

supermarket and was on my way home to cook a soup. Now I’ve seen you two, I might stay for a sandwich,’ Matthew says. He drops his satchel and the baguettes on the floor.

‘The more the merrier,’ Jamie says, though Matthew strikes him as pushy. Back at the table the waitress presses a pen against a pad, waiting for them to order: sandwiches, carrot cake, coffee.

‘Are we drinking?’ Matthew asks. Before Jamie can mutter something about not being very flush, he produces a grating ‘I’ll have a dry white wine.’ Jamie deduces, from Matthew’s sickly sweet breath, that he’s already been drinking. Matthew sucks in his cheeks and purses his lips with exaggerated feminine enthusiasm. ‘Billy, do you know, I was pruning the rhododendrons the other day and it just came to me—I could see your face in my mind and I just knew we were going to bump into each other.’ He pauses, draws breath and articulates his impossibly long neck. ‘So Jamie, what do you do?’

Jamie searches his head for something to say, not wanting to look like a complete loser. ‘I finished my fine art degree last year but now I’m focusing on my writing.’

‘I’m a writer too,’ Matthew says.

‘Really?’

‘Anything published?’ Matthew asks.

‘I’m working on it.’

‘You’re very young to be a writer. Perhaps you’ll experience a bit of life first.’

‘He’s an apprentice,’ Billy says, supportively.

‘Don’t mock,’ Matthew says.

‘I’m not.’

‘Is that how your support yourself?’ Jamie asks, breaking the tension.

‘Well, I do a few shifts at the bakery. I don’t think one needs a lot of money.’

Jamie wonders what he means by that. ‘So how do you two know each other?’

Matthew looks away at Billy, tearing the corner of a paper napkin with his eyes shut. ‘Long story, best left for another time,’ he says.

Billy opens his eyes to Jamie. ‘A while ago, before I met you.’

The smile drops from Matthew’s face. ‘Well, maybe it wasn’t you I was supposed to meet that time,’ he says with witchlike illumination. ‘Perhaps I’ve been brought here for another reason. Serendipity. The universe is constantly rearranging itself.’ He taps the table in front of Jamie with his forefinger. ‘Do you know what I see when I look at you?’

Jamie recoils slightly at the direct challenge.

 ‘I see a person who’s afraid of life,’ Matthew says, ‘Afraid of letting go of the edge. But there’s a great big world out there.’ Matthew turns to Billy. ‘Am I right?’ He touches fingers to his temples and then rubs his thumbs and fingers together, as if

absorbing oil into his fingertips. ‘That’s what I’m picking up here. You’re just not living your life the way it’s meant to be lived.’

‘He needs a good kick up the arse,’ Billy says.

‘Grasp the nettle, Jamie.’

The waitress returns with food. ‘You’ll have to move that,’ she says, sniffing at Matthew’s satchel. ‘It’s a fire hazard.’

Matthew kicks the bag under the banquette like a rebellious schoolboy. ‘What’s her problem?’ He raises his hands, as if, resisting an invisible force field and eases them down, until they reach the table. ‘I won’t get annoyed. I’m just going to let this slip off me.’ He turns to Jamie once more. There it is again, his eyes—vibrating from side to side. Jamie didn’t imagine it this time.

‘Happens to me all the time and I say to myself, “Matthew, don’t get yourself involved.” Because, you know, while there’s all this chaos going on in the world, I’m the one who has control.’

Jamie senses Billy inwardly recoil from their new friend’s hippy-dippy claptrap.

‘You’re an old soul. Just getting used to your new skin, aren’t you?’ Matthew says, regaining his genteel tone. Jamie is gripped with magnetic curiosity.

‘What makes you say that?’ Billy’s voice has a challenging note in it.

‘Vibrating on a higher frequency—more evolved,’ Matthew says. ‘I can feel it.’ He nods at the books in front of them. ‘Searching for something though. Why else would you be reading The Prophetic Insights?’

‘Everyone’s reading it,’ Billy says. ‘It’s on special offer round the corner.’

‘Isn’t that fortunate?’ Matthew says. ‘The message is spreading far and wide.’

Billy makes yawning shapes with his mouth. ‘We’re trying to find Jamie somewhere to live in London.’

‘Oh?’ Matthew leans forward with interest.

Jamie lifts up the accommodation page in Time Out. ‘Everything in here is way too expensive. I viewed two flea-pits in Zone Four this morning.’

‘The universe provides us with everything. Just ask.’ Matthew clutches empty space and makes a clenched fist in the air. ‘Think of what you want. Bring it into being. Manifest!’

Jamie giggles nervously. He thinks of the poor emperor

being swindled by the weavers promising to make clothes from invisible fabric and, not really knowing what to say, he takes a huge bite from his sandwich.

‘Go on,’ Matthew insists.  ‘Close your eyes and ask it.’

Jamie stares at the shape his mouth left in his sandwich,

contemplating Matthew’s last words. He closes his eyes and pictures himself living in London, a room of his own, traveling on the tube, making new friends. Then he opens his eyes.

‘When are you thinking of coming? Matthew asks.

‘As soon as possible,’ Jamie says.

‘If you can wait until the end of the month, I’ll have a room for rent in my house. I’ve a flatmate moving out.’

Jamie feels his mouth open a little wider than before.

‘Willesden Green—forty pounds a week. Nicely decorated. Zone Two.’ Matthew makes a magician’s flourish with his hands, silver rings sparkling in sunlight. ‘Well, something for you to think about. You don’t have to decide right now. Give me a call when you’re ready?’ He gets a pen from his backpack and

scribbles his phone number on a serviette.

‘How many flatmates do you have?’ Billy asks. Jamie feels like someone has performed a card trick in front of him and he’s still trying to work out the illusion.

‘Well, Adrian has just gone and Mark’s moving out, so there will just be me. I promised myself a bit more time on my own, but…’

They finish their sandwiches. Matthew regales them with stories of his travels across Europe before slugging back wine and announcing, ‘Listen, I must go.’ He drops some coins in the middle of the table. ‘That should cover my order. See you both soon. Lovely to meet you, Jamie.’ Matthew leans to kiss him on the cheek. A kiss. His large almond-shaped eyes penetrate Jamie, for a moment. ‘Billy. Until next time.’

‘Yes.’ Billy stands to kiss him goodbye but Matthew’s hand comes up evasively. ‘There’s absolutely no need for us to kiss.’ He slips out of the banquette and pulls his satchel over his shoulder. He glances outside. ‘Look at them, out there. They’re running amok!’ He laughs and walks out of the door.

‘Did you see what he did there?’ Jamie says.

‘His crystal ball needs an MOT, if you ask me.’

Jamie asks the waitress for the bill, even though he can’t

afford to pay it. Then he turns back to Billy ‘Well? Did you?’

‘Did I what?’

‘You know. With him?’

‘God, of course not. He tried. I wasn’t having any of it. He’s bloody creepy.’

Billy counts the money Matthew left on the table and scowls.

‘What’s wrong?’

‘He ordered wine and carrot cake. There’s about enough money here to pay for half a sandwich. Self-seeking fucker.’

‘That’s not very spiritual,’ Jamie says.

Billy holds up Matthew’s telephone number. ‘Still, looks like you’ve got your accommodation sorted out.’

Jamie pulls a face. ‘Move in with someone I just met in a coffee shop? What would Mum think?’

What are your thoughts on the extract? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure to check out the trailer for the book by clicking H E R E.

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*Purchase ‘Kissing The Lizard’ here:

*Purchase ‘Kissing The Lizard’ with free international delivery here: 

*You can also find the book here: Foyles and the Inkandescent website.

***I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Justin David

Justin David is a writer and photographer. A child of Wolverhampton, he has lived and worked in East London for most of his adult life. He graduated from the MA Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, has read at Paul Burston’s literary salon, Polari at Royal Festival Hall, and is a founder member of Leather Lane Writers. His writing has appeared in many print and online anthologies and his debut novella was published by Salt as part of their Modern Dreams series.

Justin is one half of Inkandescent–a new publishing venture with his partner, Nathan Evans. Their first offering, Threads, featuring Nathan’s poetry and Justin’s photography, was long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. It was supported using public funding by Arts Council England and is available in paperback and ebook.

Find him on: Website, Twitter and Goodreads.

[BOOK TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] Address Book by Neil Bartlett @InkandescentUK @neilvbartlett #AddressBook

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Today is my stop on the Address Book by Neil Bartlett book tour and I’m sharing a book extract with you.

Before the extract I’ll leave this quote from the publisher:

In November 2021, Inkandescent will publish Address Book by Neil Bartlett, the new mosaic novel by the Costa- shortlisted author of Skin Lane. This cycle of stories takes us to seven very different times and situations: from a new millennium civil partnership celebration to erotic obsession in a Victorian tenement, from a council-flat bedroom at the height of the AIDS crisis to a doctor’s living-room in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, they lead us through decades of change to discover hope in the strangest of places.

Editor Nathan Evans says, ‘I’ve loved Neil’s writing since finding his first book in the university library, so to publish his latest is something of a dream for me. Inkandescent are proud to be working with such an important queer writer with so much to say about where we are and how we got here.’ Neil says, ‘Every place that I’ve ever slept in, I’ve always wondered about what went on at that address before I moved in. To write this book, I went back to some significant places in my own life and let the walls talk to me. The result of that listening is this new cycle of stories.’

Now I leave you with the wonderful extract:

BOOK EXTRACT

It’s August, and hot, and although the trees outside this particular bedroom are tall and shadowy, someone has still felt the need to screen what is about to happen in here from view; in order to achieve that, they’ve stretched a thin cotton Indian-print bedspread right across the window. You can still see where the hammer and tacks that were used to accomplish this task have been left scattered across the carpet. The room seems very still, after that particular noise, and the sunshine filtering in through the warm rust-and-black colours of the bedspread is turning its air into one ruddy, red-gold solid.

 In the middle of this warm cube of colour, two men are standing facing each other across a bare and rather dirty-looking mat-tress. This mattress lies directly on the floor, with its head against a wall, and the men are measuring the distance it creates between them with their eyes. As it happens, they are both half-undressed already. They seem to have reached some kind of an impasse in their choreography for just a moment, but then—quite unexpectedly—the younger and slightly shorter of the two makes a very definite move; he stoops, unlaces his shoes, and removes his socks; he then shucks off his trousers and underpants in one smooth and beautiful gesture. The older man attempts to follow suit, but when the moment comes for him to slip down his own underwear he feels obliged to turn around and present his back. Then he seems to pause for a moment, taking some apparently much-needed time to gather himself together before he turns back round to face his partner. When he does turn, his body is visibly thinner than the younger man’s, and more worn; you can see every one of his sixty-two years, even though the light in this room seems determined to be kind. Both of the men are sweating already, because of the day’s heat.

The staring between them continues for some time, but then—eventually—something moves again. It is a hand, this time—and now the shorter of the two men, the bloodily-haired one, steps forward onto the mattress and places this reaching hand of his first on the other man’s arm, and then onto his left shoulder. When he feels this hand, the older man smiles, but still only with half of his mouth. He closes his eyes. The redhead, sensing that he must proceed very gently, moves his lips and face forwards in order to plant the softest of kisses on the other man’s mouth. This kiss seems to be a question; eventually—and quietly—it receives a reply.

Once down on the mattress, their limbs seem to fit together quite well. Things move slowly, in this heat—but now, the questions being asked are no longer quite so tentative or gentle. Neither are their answers; the two men’s eyes meet quite often now, closing only when they must, and when a head tips back or turns away it is not now with avoidance or refusal. When the time comes for more noise, the air of the room seems to absorb it all quite easily. For one of the two men the sounds that he is making turn unstoppably into tears, but fortunately his partner holds him tight when this happens, and lets the crisis pass without comment.

By the time they have both come, it is quite late in the after-noon, and the parti-coloured light that is still seeping through the bedspread has shifted several feet around their impromptu bedroom’s walls. Both of their bodies are properly slicked with sweat now, and smeared with stripes of dust, and as they lie there side by side and stare up together at the ceiling—both of them feeling quite hollowed-out and silent now, as if they were lying together on some abandoned beach, listening perhaps to the waves of some distant and still-retreating tide—their bodies are contoured in several shades of a vivid and surprising colour. The light which is sculpting the face of the red-head discovers a line of pure carmine on the crest of both his cheekbones; his companion’s skin takes the colour more gently. Again, a hand reaches out, and again it finds another. The red-head, who is on the right-hand side of the bed, turns, and it is he who begins the necessary conversation. ‘Shall we do names, then?’ he asks.

The older man keeps his eyes on the ceiling, and there is a considerable pause. When he finally does speak, you can still hear in his voice a record of all the weeping that he has just done, together with traces of all the other noises. ‘Roger,’ he says, hoarsely. ‘I’m called Roger.’

‘Hello Roger. My name’s David.’ ‘Hello.’

There is a further silence here, quite a long one, and then the red-haired man tries again. ‘I really needed that,’ he says, quite cheerfully. ‘How about you?’  And then there is yet another silence—but the questioner persists. ‘Are you alright, my friend?’ he says.

What are your thoughts on the extract? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure to check out the trailer for the book by clicking H E R E.

Twitter Card for ADDRESS BOOK EDMUND WHITE copy

*Purchase ‘Address Book’ here:

*Purchase ‘Address Book‘ with free international delivery here: 

*You can also find the book here: Foyles, Gay’s The Word and the Inkandescent website.

***I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Neil Bartlett press photo

Neil Bartlett has been an acclaimed and pioneering voice in British queer culture since the 1980s. His first novel, Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall (written in a council flat on the Isle of Dogs), was Capital Gay’s Book of the Year 1990. It went on to be translated into five European languages, and was recently republished by Profile as a Serpent’s Tail Classic. His second novel, Mr. Clive and Mr. Page, was nominated for the Whitbread Prize in 1996, his third, Skin Lane, was shortlisted for the Costa Award in 2007, his fourth, The Disappearance Boy, earnt him a nomination for Stonewall Author of the Year 2014. Neil is also a maker of rule-breaking performance and theatre. After a controversial early career, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith in 1994 and, in recognition of his work there, was awarded the O.B.E. in 2000. Since leaving the Lyric in 2005, he has created work for major cultural producers including the National Theatre, the RSC, the Manchester Royal Exchange, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Wellcome Foundation, Artangel, Tate Britain—and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Find him on: Website and Twitter.

[BOOK REVIEW] MAINSTREAM: An Anthology of Stories from the Edges edited by Nathan Evans and Justin David @InkandescentUK

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I’m not officially back to reviewing yet because of life being hectic but I had to share my thoughts on this brilliant anthology published by Inkandescent. I will provide you with the blurb below:

“Mainstream brings thirty authors in from the margins to occupy centre-page. Queer storytellers. Working class wordsmiths. Chroniclers of colour. Writers whose life experiences give unique perspectives on universal challenges, whose voices must be heard. And read:

Aisha Phoenix, Alex Hopkins, Bidisha, Chris Simpson, DJ Connell, Elizabeth Baines, Gaylene Gould, Giselle Leeb, Golnoosh Nour, Hedy Hume, Iqbal Hussain, Jonathan Kemp, Julia Bell, Juliet Jacques, Justin David, Kathy Hoyle, Keith Jarrett, Kerry Hudson, Kit de Waal, Lisa Goldman, Lui Sit, Nathan Evans, Neil Bartlett, Neil Lawrence, Neil McKenna, Ollie Charles, Padrika Tarrant, Paul McVeigh, Philip Ridley, Polis Loizou.

The anthology is edited by Justin David and Nathan Evans. Justin says, ‘In publishing, it’s often only the voices of a privileged minority that get heard and those of ‘minority’ groups—specifically the working classes, ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community—don’t get the amplification they deserve. We wanted to bring all those underrepresented groups together in one volume in order to pump up the volume’ ”

As you can read from the description above,  the anthology features many authors and a variety of themes. I don’t usually read anthologies but having known Inkandescent as a publisher of under-represented voices and queer voices (plus many more) I got completely hooked on wanting to read this anthology. I wanted to experience this anthology and all of its contents and luckily I did.

I won’t be reviewing each story because it features a large number of writers so I will share my thoughts in this way: first of all, I love how the anthology features new voices as well as some authors that the public knows such as Kit de Waal, second of all: yes, not every story can be up to par with the others but I like how they each expressed a different style, a different world-view so that’s a big plus in my book! Getting to know these authors by reading their short stories is such an interesting experience because it provides a glimpse into their writing and makes you search for more from them. I have to say that this young independent publishing house did a great job with publishing this one and I look forward to more from them. It’s so refreshing to read something I don’t usually read because it provides a new outlook, a new experience that’s rewarding.

If you’re someone who enjoys reading anthologies, short-stories, supporting indie publishers this anthology will satisfy your needs.

I would like to thank the publisher for my review copy of this book. I would also like to note that this review isn’t influenced by me receiving this book from the publisher. All opinions written and expressed in this review are my own.

My rating: ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar

*Purchase ‘MAINSTREAM: An Anthology of Stories from the Edges‘ here:

*Purchase ‘MAINSTREAM: An Anthology of Stories from the Edges‘ with free international delivery here: 

*You can also find the book here: Waterstones, Blackwells, and the Inkandescent website.

***I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

INKANDESCENT is a publishing venture by Justin David and Nathan Evans with a commitment to ideas, subjects and voices underrepresented by mainstream publishing, we hope to discover and celebrate original, diverse and transgressive literature and art, to challenge the status quo

Find them on: Website and Twitter.

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] MAINSTREAM: An Anthology of Stories from the Edges edited by Nathan Evans and Justin David @InkandescentUK @neillawrence18

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Today is my stop on the MAINSTREAM: An Anthology of Stories from the Edges blog tour and I’m sharing a book extract with you. Inkandescent UK are a fabulous indie publisher and I’ve been following them for a while. The duo, Justin and Nathan, are brilliant people who work very hard for their publishing house and you can see passion in every post they make and every title they publish.

Before I start with the extract I’ll leave this quote from Neil Lawrence:

“I am so honoured to be part of an anthology that celebrates the breadth and diversity of the outsider community. At a time when tribalism is rampant in the UK I am delighted to be part of a project that is bringing us together. ‘Bleach’ is a story I wrote some time ago and have always wanted to find a good home for. With Inkandescent I feel blessed. Namaste.”

Now I leave you with the wonderful extract.

BOOK EXTRACT

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What are your thoughts on the extract? Let me know in the comments!

Make sure to check out the trailer for the book by clicking H E R E.

MAINSTREAM Blog Tour Graphic 2021

*Purchase ‘MAINSTREAM: An Anthology of Stories from the Edges‘ here:

*Purchase ‘MAINSTREAM: An Anthology of Stories from the Edges‘ with free international delivery here: 

*You can also find the book here: Waterstones, Blackwells, and the Inkandescent website.

***I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

INKANDESCENT is a publishing venture by Justin David and Nathan Evans with a commitment to ideas, subjects and voices underrepresented by mainstream publishing, we hope to discover and celebrate original, diverse and transgressive literature and art, to challenge the status quo

Find them on: Website and Twitter.

[CLOSED] [BLOG TOUR: GIVEAWAY] The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean @willrdean @JennyPlatt90 @HodderBooks

Today is my stop on the The Last Thing to Burn blog tour and I have a giveaway of the book!

BOOK SYNOPSIS

     A dark and brilliant new standalone thriller from a rising star in the crime genre.

He is her husband. She is his captive.

Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.

She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.

Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.

For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting …

BOOK GIVEAWAY

All you need to do is click on the image below and RT the tweet, follow the people (@) mentioned and you’ll be entered!

Giveaway ends February 2nd, 2021.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments and make sure to follow other bloggers on this tour!

Add ‘The Last Thing to Burn‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘The Last Thing to Burn‘ here:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of Dark Pines.

Find him on: Goodreads and Twitter.

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] Whispers In The Mist by Darcy Coates @darcyauthor @sourcebooks @midaspr

Today is my stop on the Whispers in the Mist blog tour and I’m sharing a book extract with you.

EXTRACT

What are your thoughts on the extract? Let me know in the comments!

Add ‘Whispers in the Mist‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Whispers in the Mist‘ here:

*Purchase ‘Whispers in the Mist‘ with free international delivery here: 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Darcy Coates is the USA Today Bestselling author of Hunted, The Haunting of Ashburn House, Craven Manor, and more than a dozen horror and suspense titles.

She lives on the Central Coast of Australia with her family, cats, and a garden full of herbs and vegetables.

Darcy loves forests, especially old-growth forests where the trees dwarf anyone who steps between them. Wherever she lives, she tries to have a mountain range close by.

Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] Secrets In The Dark by Darcy Coates @darcyauthor @sourcebooks @midaspr

Today is my stop on the Secrets in the Dark blog tour and I’m very excited to share a book extract with you.

EXTRACT

What are your thoughts on the extract? Let me know in the comments!

Add ‘Secrets in the Dark‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Secrets in the Dark‘ here:

*Purchase ‘Secrets in the Dark‘ with free international delivery here: 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Darcy Coates is the USA Today Bestselling author of Hunted, The Haunting of Ashburn House, Craven Manor, and more than a dozen horror and suspense titles.

She lives on the Central Coast of Australia with her family, cats, and a garden full of herbs and vegetables.

Darcy loves forests, especially old-growth forests where the trees dwarf anyone who steps between them. Wherever she lives, she tries to have a mountain range close by.

Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[Q&A with the author] The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna @DianeZinna #TheAllNightSun

I’m so excited to be sharing this Q&A with the wonderful Diane Zinna, author of The All-Night Sun.

Q&A

Q: What inspired you to write The All-Night Sun?

A: The idea for the book actually came to me in a dream, though it grew into something very different in the writing. I’d dreamed of two friends traveling together by train. I dreamed that one of those women snuck off to reunite with a lover in an underground Parisian bathroom filled with art—dream stuff. In the writing, the bathroom became Stockholm’s art-filled subway. The lover remained. The friend, waiting upstairs, her jealousy rising, remained.

Q: How long did it take you to write your debut novel The All-Night Sun?

A: It took about a year to write the first draft, but the story went through many years of revisions, mostly in its structure. I had written it toggling back and forth in time. As a book about grief, that felt right to me, the way intense, vivid memories can interrupt our day-to-day. Someone who read it early on suggested a linear format, so I pulled it apart and did it that way to see how it might work. It was a helpful exercise in that I was able to close some plot holes, but it didn’t feel like the same story anymore. I know as writers we are told to drive forward, always forward, but moving back and forth in time was part of what gave this book energy. After taking it apart for someone else, it took me a long time to put it back together in a way I loved again, but I’m so glad I did.

Q: Do you have a routine of writing at a certain time for a couple of hours or do you do it spontaneously?

A: I have always longed for a regular practice, but so far I haven’t been successful at keeping to one. I’ve always worked full time, and the writing of this book overlapped having my daughter and dealing with illness, and there’s always the stuff of life that interrupts us. When generating new work, I tend to write in short bursts. When I’m in an editing phase, I can write for hours and that process just overtakes everything I’m doing. I have even been known to write with the laptop open in the car, squeezing in words at red lights.

Q: Was there a particular scene which you found hard to write (spoiler-free if possible)?

A: The last chapter was difficult because I longed to give Lauren a good ending. I felt that if anyone deserved that, she did. I knew that some people were not going to find her to be a “likeable” narrator, and I liked her very much. I wanted her to be okay out in the world without me when I was finished. In early drafts, my last paragraphs tried to do too much. I hinted at who she later married, showed her starting over as a teacher in a new school, showed her with new friends, even new hobbies.(I had her scrapbooking!?) But I always knew that this book was about coming right up to the edge of being okay after grief—coming to the lip of it and finally taking that first breath after so long being underwater. So that’s how I ended it—with Lauren’s first, deep breath.

Q: Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

A:  Lauren is another version of me, I think. I too lost my parents too early, though not in the way it’s described in the book. The memorization of things, the TV always on, how she was constantly teaching herself new things to occupy her mind—that was all very much me. But for me, that drive also became an obsession with work and service.I worked three jobs. I volunteered as much as I could. I tried to help others dealing with loss. But all of that also served as a way of hiding my grief away, and like Lauren, my pain often burst out at inopportune times.

Q: What authors made you fall in love with reading?

A: Early on for me, it was Ray Bradbury. I checked out a copy of The Illustrated Man from my elementary school library and never returned it. I felt like that book had found me, and I still have it. One of my favorite Bradbury stories, “All Summer in a Day,” appears in The All-Night Sun. My early reading was this really formative mix of dark science fiction and Sweet Valley High books. In high school, I loved The Once and Future King for its romantic sense of being held by the natural world, and a science fiction novel called A Canticle for Leibowitz, that was about hope during a dark time. These two books also imparted structure lessons to me I still think about a lot.

Q: Are you currently reading anything – if so, what are you reading at the moment?

A:  I’ve been reading a lot of books that are debuting in 2020, into this pandemic time. One thing I was grateful to discover is that there are opportunities to connect with other writers who are debuting in your year. In our 2020 Debuts group, we started out sharing the normal joys and anxieties, but now we are supporting each other through cancelled book tours, delayed publication dates, and format changes. With so many bookstores closed, many of us will never have the experience of walking into a bookstore and seeing our books on display. I hope readers will seek out the 2020 Debuts on social media—there are so many extraordinary stories waiting to become part of someone’s heart.

Thank you so much to Diane for taking the time to answer these questions for Breathing Through Pages!

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this Q&A!

THE ALL-NIGHT SUN

Forthcoming from Random House, July 14th, 2020

All the buy/pre-order links for The All-Night Sun are below!

Add ‘The All-Night Sun‘ to your TBR:  

*Pre-order ‘The All-Night Sun‘ here:

*Pre-order ‘The All-Night Sun‘ with free international delivery here: 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Diane Zinna is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her MFA from the University of Florida and went on to teach creative writing for ten years. She was formerly the executive co-director at AWP, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, which hosts the largest literary conference in North America each year. In 2014, Diane created their Writer to Writer Mentorship Program, helping to match more than six hundred writers over twelve seasons.

Diane lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with her husband and daughter. The All-Night Sun is her first novel.

Find her on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[Q&A with the author] Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart @Doug_D_Stuart #ShuggieBain

I’m so excited to be sharing this Q&A with the wonderful Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain.

📸 Amy Chin

Q&A

First of all, huge congratulations on your debut Shuggie Bain! It’s already out in the US and Australia and it will be out in the UK in August!

Q: What inspired you to write Shuggie Bain?

A: No one particular thing. I grew up in Glasgow in the 1980’s but have lived in New York for the past twenty years. I think I was grieving for the boy I once was, for the people I grew up around and the city I love. I was just overwhelmed with a need to set it all on the page. I actually started with (what is now) chapter thirteen, where the characters Leek and Shuggie go to the closed down colliery and Leek teaches his young brother how to walk like a proper man. Then the rest of the book seemed to flow from there and there was no stopping it.

Q: How long did it take you to write your debut novel Shuggie Bain?

A: Like most writers I worked full time – except I worked in the fashion industry. It took me ten years to write Shuggie Bain;fashion is a really intense industry, and NYC is a really restless city, so I always had to be quite selfish in order to steal some time to actually write. I wrote Shuggie in the margins of the day. Once the book had its hooks in me the rest of my working week felt like an obstacle to overcome before I could return to my characters. There were periods where their stories swallowed me so completely. Writing this book definitely tested my marriage – my obsession with my writing has ruined many family holidays!

Q: Do you have a routine of writing at a certain time for a couple of hours or do you do it spontaneously?

A: I write full time now so I try to have the discipline of arriving at my desk after breakfast every morning. But I’m not too hard on myself if it doesn’t come to anything. Thinking and living and stepping back to consider your work are as necessary as writing itself. I’m both an early morning thinker and a late in the day writer – I’m useless after lunch so I try to keep the afternoon for admin and allowing my mind to wander. Because I live in a chaotic city, I find my most valuable tool is noise cancelling headphones. When I have those on, I can focus for hours. Any time I get stuck, I go out for a walk and New York usually presents me with some unexpected human behavior that inspires me.

Q: Was there a particular scene which you found hard to write (spoiler-free if possible)?

A: There is a scene near the beginning of the book where young Shuggie is playing near an old dis-used washing machine. He is bullied by an older boy. I found that scene particularly jarring because it deals with both abuse and homophobia – and it is really the turning point forShuggie. After this he is marked in his coal-mining community as too effeminate, as being ‘no right’. This was a hard scene to write becauseits always harrowing to steal the innocence of a child. Instinctively, all you want to do is protect your characters.

Q: Do you see yourself in your character Shuggie?

A: I think many writers pull from real life. Shuggie is too kind and too patient to be anything like me, he endures incredibly painful things with such grace,and I think they would make me crumble.

It’s not that I see myself in Shuggie, but that I see my life and my experiences growing up in Glasgow in all the characters. I tried to be as authentic and truthful as I could in re-creating the millieu – I hope that is one of the strongest things you will feel from the book. Sometimes in order to do that I needed to remove myself as the author to ensure I didn’t have too much intrusion. I wanted the reader to feel as though they were in the room, I never wanted them to have a sense that a writer was telling them this story and standing between them and these characters.

Q: What authors have influenced you and made you fall in love with reading and eventually writing a novel?

A: Growing up poor I rarely saw books that portrayed families like my own and that always made me feel so lonely. The first time I read Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a KnaveI suddenly understood the power of literature because I felt seen. Later, when I discovered Agnes Owens and James Kelman, I saw that a writer can capture working-class lives with all the dignity and urgency and importance that we usually give to middle class characters. Poverty is just as worthy of the page as privilege is. I think the biggest influences on me as a writer have been Alan Warner, Irvine Welsh, Cormac McCarthy and Agnes Owens. I don’t know if this reflects in my work, but I admire their ability to look difficult things straight in the eye and write about it without embellishment. As a writer, everything you read has an influence on you – even if that feeling is about rejecting what you read.

Q: What are some of your favourite books?

A: There are so many to mention. Whenever I read queer or working-class characters on the page, I feel incredibly seen. I am always drawn to urgent working-class protagonists: Alexander Trocchi’s Young Adam, Phillipp Meyer’s American Rust, Agnes Owens’s Gentlemen of The West, Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for A Knave. (Ken Loach’s adaptation ‘Kes’ is an incredible film.) I try to read as much queer fiction as I can: James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt, The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst, Alexander Chee’s Edinburgh, Colm Tóibin’s The Story of the Night.I LOVE Thomas Hardy: but am especially fond of Tess of the D’Ubervilles or Jude the Obscure. Arabella Don is one of my favourite characters ever. Of all the Scottish books that have had influenced me, I really admire Alan Warner’s Morvern Callar and Janice Galloway’s The Trick is to Keep Breathing. Any fan of Elinor Oliphant should read Galloway’s book.

Q: Are you currently reading anything – if so, what are you reading at the moment?

A: There have been so many great books published recently but I love: Real Life by Brandon Taylor, The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa, and Mary South’s short story collection You Will Never Be Forgotten is so exciting and strange. At the moment I’m finding myself in need of some comfort from what I read so I’m re-reading The Persian Boy by Mary Renault and Maria McCann’s As Meat Loves Salt. I find McCann’s book comforting and disturbing at the exact same time – and I love that. It’s a gay love story that is both immersive and propulsive. I’m obsessed with Jacob Cullen! If I had the money, I would commission a trilogy!

Q: Is there a lingering idea for a future novel?

A: There is! I am at work on a gay love story set amongst the territorial gangs of Glasgow. It’s about two young men who are in love and are divided by sectarian lines. It has been described as Romeo and Juliet with homemade tomahawks and shanking blades!

📸 Amy Chin

Thank you so much to Douglas for taking the time to answer these questions for Breathing Through Pages!

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this Q&A!

US cover

UK cover

Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in run-down public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher’s policies have put husbands and sons out of work, and the city’s notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie’s mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie’s guiding light but a burden for him and his siblings. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a philandering taxi-driver husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good–her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamourous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion’s share of each week’s benefits–all the family has to live on–on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes’s older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. Shuggie is meanwhile struggling to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that he is “no right,” a boy with a secret that all but him can see. Agnes is supportive of her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her–even her beloved Shuggie.

A heartbreaking story of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction. Recalling the work of Edouard Louis, Alan Hollinghurst, Frank McCourt, and Hanya Yanagihara, it is a blistering debut by a brilliant novelist who has a powerful and important story to tell.

SHUGGIE BAIN is already out in the US and Australia and will be out in August in the UK. All the buy/pre-order links are below!

Add ‘Shuggie Bain‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Shuggie Bain‘ here:

*Pre-order ‘Shuggie Bain‘ here:

*Pre-order ‘Shuggie Bain‘ with free international delivery here: 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Douglas Stuart is a Scottish – American author. His short story, Found Wanting, was published in The New Yorker magazine.

His debut novel, Shuggie Bain, is published by Grove Atlantic in the US and Picador in the UK. It is to be translated into Swedish, Norwegian, Italian, German and French. He wrote Shuggie Bain over a ten year period and is currently at work on his second novel.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Douglas was raised in some of the city’s most deprived housing schemes, including the now demolished Sighthill tower blocks. After receiving his MA from the Royal College of Art in London he has lived and worked in New York City.

Find him on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.

[Q&A with the author] The Body Politic by Brian Platzer @bplatzer #TheBodyPolitic

I’m so excited to be sharing this Q&A with the wonderful Brian Platzer, author of The Body Politic.

Q&A

Q: What inspired you to write The Body Politic?

A: For two years, I was dizzy all day every day. My vision was blurry, I couldn’t be alone with my kids, teach, write, or carry on a conversation in person or over the phone. I was lonely and scared–feelings exacerbated by the combination of constant suffering and the existential horror of not knowing if the suffering would last forever. After I finally found the medications that now give me a few hours of clarity each day, I wanted to process both my perspective and those of my wife, friends and family who’d endured it all with me.  Then Trump was elected, and the parallels between my illness and the political moment just snuck up on me. There was a comparable frustration, dread, disorientation, and uncertainty. Telling these two stories together put human emotions and decisions on a political scale and contextualized the characters in way that makes their story feel way more alive.

Q: How long did it take you to write your novel The Body Politic?

A: About 4 years!

Q: Do you have a routine of writing at a certain time for a couple of hours or do you do it spontaneously?

A: I have a few hours of clarity every morning, so I teach two mornings a week and write the other three mornings.  Then I edit in the afternoons.

Q: Was there a particular scene which you found hard to write (spoiler-free if possible)?

A: All the scenes involving the kids made me really emotional.  I hate thinking about what my kids went through when I was sick.

Q: Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

A: David, one of the protagonists, is pretty much just a taller, friendlier, sadder version of me.

Q: What authors have influenced you and made you fall in love with reading and eventually writing a novel?

A: James Baldwin, Philip Roth, Rachel Cusk, W Somerset Maugham

Q: What are some of your favourite books?

A: Giovanni’s Room, American Pastoral, Outline, The Razor’s Edge

Q: Are you currently reading anything – if so, what are you reading at the moment?

A:  I’m reading the great Rachel Monroe’s Savage Appetites

Thank you so much to Brian for taking the time to answer these questions for Breathing Through Pages!

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this Q&A!

In the bestselling tradition of The Interestings and A Little Life, this keenly felt and expertly written novel by the author of the “savvy, heartfelt, and utterly engaging” (Alice McDermott) Bed-Stuy Is Burning follows four longtime friends as they navigate love, commitment, and forgiveness while the world around them changes beyond recognition.

New York City is still regaining its balance in the years following 9/11, when four twenty-somethings—Tess, Tazio, David, and Angelica—meet in a bar, each yearning for something: connection, recognition, a place in the world, a cause to believe in. Nearly fifteen years later, as their city recalibrates in the wake of the 2016 election, their bond has endured—but almost everything else has changed.

As freshmen at Cooper Union, Tess and Tazio were the ambitious, talented future of the art world—but by thirty-six, Tess is married to David, the mother of two young boys, and working as an understudy on Broadway. Kind and steady, David is everything Tess lacked in her own childhood—but a recent freak accident has left him with befuddling symptoms, and she’s still adjusting to her new role as caretaker.

Meanwhile, Tazio—who once had a knack for earning the kind of attention that Cooper Union students long for—has left the art world for a career in creative branding and politics. But in December 2016, fresh off the astonishing loss of his candidate, Tazio is adrift, and not even his gorgeous and accomplished fiancée, Angelica, seems able to get through to him. With tensions rising on the national stage, the four friends are forced to face the reality of their shared histories, especially a long-ago betrayal that has shaped every aspect of their friendship.

Elegant and perceptive, The Body Politic explores the meaning of commitment, the nature of forgiveness, the way that buried secrets will always find their way to the surface, and how all of it can shift—and eventually erupt—over the course of a life.

All the buy links for The Body Politic are below!

Add ‘The Body Politic‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘The Body Politic‘ here:

*Purchase ‘The Body Politic‘ with free international delivery here: 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Brian Platzer is the author of BED-STUY IS BURNING (’17) and THE BODY POLITIC (’20) from Atria/Simon & Schuster, and THE TAKING THE STRESS OUT OF HOMEWORK (’20) from Avery/Penguin Random House. Brian has an MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and a BA from Columbia University. His writing has appeared often in the New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as in the New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife and two young sons in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, teaches middle school English in Manhattan, and suffers from chronic dizziness.

Find him on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.