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Pickle Me This

November 20, 2009

It had to be stories

I just finished reading the short story collection Reasons For and Advantages of Breathing, which I finally picked up after having it recommended by Lauren Groff and seeing it was selected as one of The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Fiction Selections for 2009. I am much excited about the book and its author, Lydia Peelle, and I’ll be writing a review this weekend, but in the meantime, why the internet is great as follows.

Her book’s playlist at Largehearted Boy. Her story “The Mule Killers” for your reading pleasure. Lydia Peelle interviewed by Gillian Welch, and in particular this:

“It is like making an album. A short-story collection is like an album in ways that a novel is not; your hope is for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts. What you want is for each song or each story to stand on its own, but for them to say something greater when collected in one album or between the covers of a book. And sequencing is so important—as I know it is with a record—the way you order the stories; you think about the emotional arc to the whole book. I wouldn’t want a reader to skip around the book, but to read the stories in order. As for the stories, well, I knew it had to be stories …”

2 thoughts on “It had to be stories”

  1. Muffy Sainte-Marie says:

    I want the whole world to discover Lydia Peelle and revel in her marvelous stories! This book of short stories is right up there with the stories of Breece DJ Pancake, in my opinion. I've read RFAAOB several times through now, and keep discovering more treasure each time I read it.

  2. Kerry says:

    Well, I'll do my part to share Peelle with the world. Her book is remarkable. And I've never heard of Breece DJ Pancake and am amazed to find (through extensive research on Wikipedia) that his name wasn't even a pseudonym.

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