In our morning reading: thoughts on Katie Kitamura’s new novel, prose poetry by Alex DiFrancesco, and more.
Visceral Mythology and Transformational Songs: A Conversation With Jeanne Thornton and Alex DiFrancesco
Alex DiFrancesco’s collection Transmutation abounds with moments of intimate revelation and transforming bodies. Jeanne Thornton’s novel Summer Fun draws inspiration from a legendary rock band and takes it to a wholly unexpected place. Both books are among the best I’ve read this year, and I chatted with both authors over Zoom one summer evening. The conversation covered a wide range of subjects — from pandemic coping mechanisms to the music of Tom Waits — and an edited version follows.
Morning Bites: Kristen Millares Young Nonfiction, Dana Spiotta on Fiction, Alex DiFrancesco on Monsters, and More
In our morning reading: new writing by Kristen Millares Young, an interview with Dana Spiotta, and more.
Fishing, Painting, Fireflies, and Metaphor
by Alex DiFrancesco
It was about a decade ago, and a romantic partner and I were driving back to New York City from the Catskill Mountains. My partner at the time’s name was Oscar, he was about twenty years older than me, and owned a cabin and some property at the top of a mountain upstate. We’d spent the weekend there, and on Sunday night, we were driving back into the city, down the highway, with WNYC on the car radio. We were mostly quiet, Oscar focused on the road in front of us, and me drifting in and out of thought, tired from hiking, happy to be in a heated car and headed back to Astoria, Queens, where we both lived. In the quiet, a song started playing through the car’s speakers. It was jazz — jazz is something I’ve always appreciated, but never been deeply into — but it was a totally different kind of jazz than I’d heard before. There was something joyful and a different kind of wild about it, something I responded to by immediately leaning forward and turning it up.
Afternoon Bites: Joe R. Lansdale’s Latest, Eduardo Halfon Nonfiction, Alex DiFrancesco Interviewed, and More
In our afternoon reading: thoughts on Joe R. Lansdale’s new book, an interview with Alex DiFrancesco, and more.
Morning Bites: Alex DiFrancesco Fiction, Kiese Laymon, Rajiv Mohabir Interviewed, Rose City Band, and More
In our morning reading: fiction by Alex DiFrancesco, thoughts on Kiese Laymon’s writing, and more
Weekend Bites: Kiese Laymon’s Recommendations, Janet Malcolm’s Legacy, Alex DiFrancesco Interviewed, and More
In our weekend reading: book recommendations from Kiese Laymon, an interview with Alex DiFrancesco, and more.
Morning Bites: Alex DiFrancesco’s Collection, Don Cherry’s Discography, Brenda Peynado’s Latest, and More
In our morning reading: reviews of books by Alex DiFrancesco and Brenda Peynado, revisiting the music of Don Cherry, and more.