The biblical story of Job’s suffering is a darkly comical puppet show that swiftly opens into a transcendent poem of anguish, awe, and surrender. When God boasts of Job’s goodness, the Accusing Angel replies his piety is a performance of faith born of wealth and comfort.
Seventeen weeks in the womb, and now your ears are open, ready to receive, exquisitely developed. You live in a waterworld, immersed in vibration and sound: the unceasing whoosh of blood through the uterine artery, your mother’s heart and breath, the surprising syncopation of your own glorious heartbeat.
Last Sunday, the beautiful woman on TV, the soldier home from Iraq with shrapnel still deep in her brain, said doctors gave her one chance in a hundred to wake, one in a thousand to do more than bob and babble. And here she was, radiantly amazed, smiling sweetly.
As many of you already know, Ron Sukenick, co-founder of FC2, died eight days past his seventy-second birthday on Thursday, 22 July, 2004, of complications from inclusion body myositis, a rare degenerative muscle disease with which he had been doing battle for years.
A question I carry around with me like my own skin, like dna, like dreamecho: in the clusterfucked world of American publishing, with its market-driven glitz and hype, its television-on-the-page drama and ineloquent plot thuds, its selling-is-the-center godhead, can fiction still interrupt capitalism?
Let’s seek out books with rough edges, scandalous books, books distinguished from trash only by vigorous writing, books that break taboos, that piss you off or that sweep you away with their urgencies. And above all, books that don’t toe any line of doctrinaire ideology, no matter how virtuous.