I'm likely to be wrapped up in writing work for the rest of the week, so I'm not certain how much more of anything I'll be reading. However, several of the topics commissioned are on titles that I've researched and written about before, so I probably won't have to do so much leg work the second time around. We shall see, shan't we? ^_^;
In any case, I finished up a short story anthology that I've been working on here and there between longer works for the past couple of weeks. Don't let the lurid cover scare you away (as it did me for many months). This is some seriously awesome literature, and everyone ought to read a story by Francisco Ibañez-Carrasco at least once in their lives.Ibañez-Carrasco, Francisco. Killing Me Softly: Morir Amando. San Francisco: Suspect Thoughts Press, 2004.Summary
: A short story anthology with twelve stories examining in various fashions how "desire geographically displaces individuals and infects lives."Comments
: My first exposure to Ibañez-Carrasco was through his short story "Spunk" anthologized in the multi-author Law of Desire
. That story, along with eleven others, is reproduced here in a veritable tour de force that is, without the slightest doubt, the best single-author anthology of a gay writer that I've ever seen. The author, HIV-positive, middle-aged, emigrant from Chile who has made a home in Canada, features as the protagonist in most of his stories--or, at least, an alternate universe version of him does. The stories, though most often S&M and Latin flavored, have tremendous range, from the hard-bitten but deeply sentimental romance of "Strictly Professional" and "Simón Says," to the deliberately confusing, noir-ish thrillers "Kill Me Softly" and "Adam's Index," to the whimsical, utterly delightful humor of "Mr. Deluxe and the Midlife Crisis of Others." The fascinating fantasy-laced story "Chameleon" features a man who can change shape and gender, and one of the most well-written, inventive sex scenes I've ever seen involved that character having sex with a man and reverting from female form to male form in the middle of it. And, of course there's "Spunk," about a man much like the author who is unknowingly seduced by his estranged teenaged son. The writing is aggressively experimental, and though at times there are subtle grammatical errors that signal a non-native English speaker, I think you'll be delighted by Ibañez-Carrasco's mastery of the language and his skillful integration of Spanish and French (not to mention non-white characters!) throughout the text. There aren't that many writerly talents that I covet, but you can bet I was feeling some acute spasms of envy here! Though published by a small niche press, the author clearly craves a larger audience and rails loudly at the suggestion that his stories are mere jerk-off material for gay men--well, he's won a whole-hearted convert in me, at least.Notes
: trade paperback, 1st edition (Yeah, that's the author himself on the cover... (^^;;;; )Rating
- These stories are must-reads--and after you read them, you'll never, ever forget them.