A few years ago I had a short story of mine workshopped by Alexander Chee. It was a group workshop, nothing to get jealous about, and I had submitted this awful, awful…I don’t even know what to call it, but I think “shadow of an effort at a short story” comes close. The funny thing is that at the time, I knew it wasn’t great, I knew it wasn’t even good – but I figured it wasn’t bad, either.
My dimensia was furthered by Alexander’s gentle and systematic disembowelment/editing which he did with thoughtful tenderness and a tempered hand.
Well, while his gauzy influence held sway back then, I’ve since been tossed into the cold, sober climate of the real world thanks to an email I received (from none other than Alexander Chee himself) informing the eWorld that he has an essay featured in the latest issue of Granta – The Fathers Issue.
Go ahead, read it.
I love it because it’s all the romance without the operatic and sensationalized flourishes. I was in California for my cousin’s wedding when I read this and both the wedding and the story kind of dovetail in their somber and subtle ways. Both were well edited, spare in their depictions, but with this gentle hum of energy, a quiet joy.
Quite the opposite of teen manga – which that short story of mine reminds me of in all it’s over wrought excess.
Read Alexander Chee’s essay at Granta, and visit his website – he’s a fan of comics (geeked with him a tiny bit about manga) and the Beguiling and is working on some sort of graphic novel-esque project.
Wait and see.