Jason Jordan holds an MFA from Chatham University. His forthcoming books are Cloud and Other Stories (Six Gallery Press, 2010) and Powering the Devil's Circus: Redux (Six Gallery Press, 2010). His prose has appeared online and in print in over forty literary magazines, including Hobart, Keyhole, Monkeybicycle, Night Train, PANK, Pear Noir!, and Storyglossia. Additionally, he's Editor-in-Chief of decomP, accessible at www.decompmagazine.com. You can visit him at his blog at poweringthedevilscircus.blogspot.com.
what are you reading now
Right now I’m reading The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing, a 350-page anthology, which should keep me occupied for a while.
classic you’ve been meaning to read
I haven’t read much of the famous Russians: Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, Tolstoy. I’d like to, but at the same time, I prefer reading contemporary work.
last book you finished in a single sitting
I think it was Kristina Born’s One Hour of Television. It was pretty good.
book you borrowed and never returned
I never borrow books, because if I end up liking a book, I want to own it and add it to my library, so I always end up buying whatever I read. It’s not the most economical practice, but it usually works out all right.
strangest book you’ve ever read
My gut reaction is Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, because I think its use of strangeness and experimentation is very effective. Plus, I enjoyed it immensely.
if you could take a cross-country road trip with any literary character
Hunter S. Thompson from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Yeah, he’s a real guy, but he’s also a character in every sense of the word. Him and I have the Louisville connection, so we could talk about that during the drive. I’d be lucky to make it back alive.
most treasured book in your collection
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. This is the book that started it all for me, the book that showed me that reading can be entertaining. Because I went to a Christian high school, we never read anything on the typical high school reading list due to lewd content, so I wasn’t interested in books at all until later. I’ve been meaning to buy a nice copy of it for years, as mine is a small, tattered paperback, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
I don’t leave books out. I’m OCD about organization, so my books are either in my shelves (ones I’ve read and like enough to keep), or on my dresser (ones in queue).
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
Keyhole, because that’s the only magazine I currently subscribe to. Still, there are tons I buy every issue of, but don’t subscribe to: Barrelhouse, Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens, Electric Literature, Hobart, Juked, MonkeyBicycle, PANK, Pear Noir!, etc. It feels like I spend less money by purchasing single issues, because my wallet doesn’t take a bigger hit at once by subscribing, but I know that’s not true. There are also many that have a sizeable back catalog of which I only own one or two issues but would love to own more: Canteen, New York Tyrant, NOON, Quick Fiction, Unsaid.
best thing you’ve read online recently
Gabe Durham’s “This Doomed Gift Before You” from The Collagist.
most anticipated upcoming release
Lit journals are my favorite things to read, and I’m most looking forward to Dzanc’s Best of the Web 2010. I’m glad a press decided to compile a print annual best-of web anthology. For the past two years I’ve been excited to see the selections. I’m hoping something from decomP makes the cut soon.
recommended reading list:
- Forty Stories by Donald Barthelme
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
- The Jiri Chronicles & Other Fictions by Debra Di Blasi
- Drown by Junot Diaz
- The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel by Amy Hempel
- Drift and Swerve by Samuel Ligon
- A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean
- Winter of Different Directions by Steven J. McDermott
- Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir by Joe Meno
- Other Electricities by Ander Monson
- Kentucky Straight by Chris Offutt
- CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
- Animal Crackers by Hannah Tinti
- Meet Me in the Moon Room by Ray Vukcevich