NOAH CICERO grew up in a small town near Youngstown, Ohio, but currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. The movie made from his first book, The Human War (Fugue State, 2003), won the 2014 Beloit Film Festival award for Best Screenplay. His debut poetry collection, Bipolar Cowboy (Lazy Fascist, 2015), was voted one of the best books on Goodreads in 2015. His latest novel, Las Vegas Bootlegger: Empire of Self-Importance (Trident, 2020) is out now, and his next poetry collection, Noah Cicero’s Wild Kingdom (House of Vlad, 2021), is forthcoming.
In our afternoon reading: thoughts on Tariq Shah’s novel, interviews with David Leo Rice and Noah Cicero, and more.
Noah Cicero has written several books. I find great comfort in Noah’s ouvre, in the sense that he has never seemed interested in limiting himself to a particular type of story. The Human War was an influential, early-millennial beat-style meditation that unsarcastically grapples with the pointlessness of war, while Go to Work… is basically a political action-thriller, replete with government conspiracies and a firefight. There’s the philosophical discussion of Buddhism in Blood-Soaked Buddha/Hard Earth Pascal. There’s both lost-love poetry (Bipolar Cowboy) and bleak observational poetry (Nature Documentary). There’s a menagerie of stories, snippets, eBooks, collected works, all testaments to Noah boldly exploring new territory without any sense of self-doubt or obligation to construct some kind of “brand.” And so now there’s Give it to the Grand Canyon, which is a deeply personal, plainly written travelogue about living and working in the Grand Canyon National Park. From the casual discussions of how one goes about getting a job there (they will hire anyone) to how one goes about getting to the job there (a lot of driving, no matter where you’re coming from) to how one goes about, well, doing the job there (serving ice cream to disappointed tourists), Noah’s story is a relentlessly realistic collection of vignettes. What I mean is that there are no twists, no manufactured dramas, no heroic deeds, but instead everything – from the unadultered danger and beauty of the canyon itself to the vague interpersonal relationships among the staff – is written as it is experienced, is remarked upon as it happens, is left to fizzle or ferment without any constructed symbolism or structure.
In our afternoon reading: an interview with Noah Cicero, thoughts on Jess Row’s new book, and more.
In our afternoon reading: exploring the fiction of JY Yang, interviews with Noah Cicero and Sarah Blakley-Cartwright, and more.
In our morning reading: revisiting “Good Omens,” an excerpt from Noah Cicero’s new book, and more.
In our morning reading: an excerpt from David Burr Gerrard’s new novel, an essay by Nikesh Shukla, music from Protomartyr, and more.
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Wendy C. Ortiz and Anna Badkhen, new fiction from Noah Cicero, and more.