Darlin’ Neal’s story collection, Rattlesnakes & The Moon (Press 53), was just released this year. She is an assistant professor in the MFA and undergraduate Creative Writing Programs at the University of Central Florida and lives in Orlando and Jensen Beach, Florida, along with Maggie the cat, Brian the human, and Catfish the dog.
what are you reading now
MFA student theses have been keeping me busy. Up next Reality Hunger, which I was supposed to read and discuss with some friends, I’m behind, and then I can’t wait to read fiction all summer long. I don’t really care about reality hunger.
classic you’ve been meaning to read
Well, how about that I’m wanting to revisit and read more thoroughly? The Collected Essays and also The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf.
last book to make you laugh out loud
Pasha Malla’s The Withdrawal Method. Read it and marvel at his range.
book you borrowed and never returned
Days by Mary Robison. It’s her early story collection and she was amazing from the start.
most devastating book you’ve ever read
Almost anything by Cormac McCarthy. I love him. Blood Meridian. The Road. No Country for Old Men.
if you could write yourself into any novel or short story
Maybe it would be Mrs. Dalloway so I could go back and take that walk again in London.
collected stories of
Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Edgar Allan Poe, William Trevor, John Updike.
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
Rattlesnakes & The Moon. I know that’s terrible.
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
Oxford American, it’s by far my favorite mag.
best thing you’ve read online recently
Fictionaut has got some great stuff. Go make your way around if you haven’t already. Everyone.
most anticipated upcoming release
Up From The Blue by Susan Henderson. We’ve critiqued each others’ work and supported each other for years. She’s a beautiful writer and person. I can’t wait to see what she has given us now. Also Kim Chinquee’s new flash collection, Pretty.
recommended reading list:
If You Dig, Then Fill Your Wig With
A few of the fiction writers who have lived in a few of the places I have lived: Mississippi, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
- Barry Hannah
- Larry Brown
- Frederick Barthelme
- Rosellen Brown
- Steve Yarborough
- Mary Robison
- Denis Johnson
- Joy Williams
- Kevin Canty
- Harry Crews
- Susan Hubbard
- Robley Wilson
- Antonya Nelson
- Robert Boswell
- N. Scott Momaday
- Leslie Marmon Silko
- Cormac McCarthy
- Kevin McIlvoy
- Tim Gautreaux
- William Gay
- Pia Z. Ehrhardt