Brooklyn Rail: Michael Row the Boat Ashore

Brooklyn Rail: Michael Row the Boat Ashore, An Exposition Upon the Inspirations & Sources for my Historical Novel, “Row The Boat Ashore.”

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May 2018 Issue, Fiction


Once upon a time, when I looked at the sky, I saw will. Today, the sky is the disappointments of my ancestors, as many lives as they had, as far as the eye can see.

In 1996, I wanted to publish a novel. I had already written a few, the third of which I believed was good enough to live on as a book—something which hadn't happened. It was not an easy time to publish, and I decided to distinguish myself with historical fiction, which is notoriously difficult to write—to research and invoke. I committed to reading about a period in America that interested me. That reading, principally concerned with a few years in the middle of the nineteenth century, would eventually turn into my first published novel, A Still Small Voice, which came out in 2000.

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https://brooklynrail.org/2018/05/fiction/Michael-Row-the-Boat-Ashore

Guernica: The Manson Family Dolls Pt. 1 & 2

Guernica: The Family Dolls, Featuring Charlie, Leslie & More

By John Reed

Parts 1 & 2

Why it's ok to play with Manson family paper dolls: an introduction to John Reed's Manson Family Paper Doll book. Print & Color Yourself!

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Leslie had one of those big tooth smiles that makes you want to find a van and coax her in and drive her to the end of the earth and stay there with her.

She was attracted to smart bad-boy types, maybe because her father had some bad boy (alcoholic, divorced mom and remarried), maybe because living in the suburbs was like breathing in a plastic bag, maybe because being middle class in 1965 meant having to deal with the Vietnam War, how wrong it was, and how she and every other middle-class kid was culpable. She had an older brother who’d already served time in the brig; he wouldn’t fight.

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https://www.guernicamag.com/the-family-dolls-featuring-charlie-leslie-more/

Guernica: Art & History & The Manson Family Paper Dolls

Guernica: Art & History

And why it's ok to play with Manson Family Paper Dolls.

By John Reed

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I have not been good. I have stumbled into this life with the blessing of God, and rolled through 100,000 years of all the disappointments of my millions of mothers and fathers. I have lived as a cruel, selfish killer among my brothers and sisters. I have hurt those I love and been hurt by them. I have sought the destruction of strangers as casually as I glance to the sky, and have found that even the saints are devils, that cognizance itself is contradiction, hypocrisy, and that we are all liars, all the time. And I have learned, of course, that this isn’t the whole truth.

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https://www.guernicamag.com/art-history/

Slate: David Wojnarowicz at the Whitney

Slate: David Wojnarowicz at the Whitney

by John Reed

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The East Village culture scene, as it developed through the late 1970s into the ‘80s, sought to decapitalize art. The art was taken out of the sterile, inhumane gallery/museum space and integrated into the crowded, teeming East Village: small storefronts, former tenements, and basement dance floors. The art was not precious, rarely archival, and often unsellable, whether because the work was installation based or so concurrent with living that it couldn’t be isolated and packaged for sale.

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The Believer: The Age of Simulation

The Believer: The Age of Simulation

by John Reed


If the twentieth century, as Walter Benjamin characterized it, was the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, the twenty-first century will be the Age of Simulation. Increasingly, there are no fields of expertise, because so much of what is “expert” can be downloaded, and even if it has to be learned, the information is so accessible—even micro decisions, like, do I want an H-pipe or an X-pipe on my 1967 Camaro—that to be anything, any kind of professional anything, has become, and will progressively become, little more than a commitment to pretend to a given status. And that, of course, can only last for so long, before people realize they can’t really adopt permanent professional identities. We will each be, in our own way, simulations of however many identities we have the time or patience to pursue.

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https://believermag.com/logger/2017-01-09-the-age-of-simulation/

The Brooklyn Rail: 'The Solitary Twin' by Harry Mathews

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The Brooklyn Rail: 'The Solitary Twin' by Harry Mathews

During the years I was pursuing my graduate degree in creative writing at Columbia University, Harry Mathews was a beloved mentor, and in the years since, as I’ve been faculty at The New School graduate writing program, he has been not only a mentor, but a colleague and a friend.

Ok, actually, I did overlap with Mathews at Columbia University and at The New School, but I never took a class with him, and I never talked to him. I don’t know that I ever even met him, which seems impossible, but there it is. ...

Read more: https://brooklynrail.org/2018/06/books/The-Solitary-Twin-Harry-Mathews


Times Literary Supplement: ‘Georgia’ a novel by Dawn Trip

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TheTimes Literary Supplement: ‘Georgia’ a novel by Dawn Trip

Well, for those of you who subscribe to the Times Literary Supplement, I have a review of Dawn Tripp's novel, Georgia in this week's issue:

Wilully, Americans tell the story of Georgia O’Keeffe: the story of the southwestern female artist and pioneer. The story is wrong in three ways: once for the remnants of the arguments it contains, mounted by art critics in the 1920s, that O’Keeffe embodied the art of a woman, more sensual ...

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/