Jamie Iredell

Jamie Iredell wrote Prose. Poems. a Novel. and The Book of Freaks. He keeps a blog at jamieiredell.blogspot.com.

what are you reading now

Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four for school (I'm teaching it). Mike Young's Look! Look! Feathers for fun, and it's way fun. Book I of Adam Novy's The Avian Gospels. The last is in the bathroom, and I often read in the bathroom, but do not usually finish any book in one "sitting."

classic you’ve been meaning to read

The rest of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. I've made it through Swann's Way and Within a Budding Grove. It's a trek I'm forcing upon myself, but a pleasurable one once I'm immersed.

last book you finished in a single sitting

For prose: Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I read a lot of poetry, and I can get through a collection in one sitting, but I usually like to read a book of poems more than once. The last book of poems that really knocked me out was Joe Hall's Pigafetta is My Wife.

book you borrowed and never returned

Steinbeck's The Long Valley. Sorry Leverett! I'm not sure if you've ever even missed it. But if you do, email me or something and let's meet and I'll give it back. But I won't meet you at that shitty college where we taught together. God, man, if you're still there, so sorry! I mean, I understand that it's a job, of course. But, fuck. Now that I'm teaching Nineteen Eighty-Four, that place was like Oceania--totally fucked.

strangest book you’ve ever read

Tristram Shandy? Maybe. Evan Dara's The Lost Scrapbook I thought was "difficult" when I first read it. Maybe I wouldn't think that now, since that was about ten years ago. The Old Testament is pretty crazy. My students never seem to realize that, and I'm sure they think I'm blasphemous when I say that it's nuts. I teach in Atlanta, so Bible Belt. But, the narrative voice changes constantly as a result of multiple authors over (likely) thousands of years of oral tradition, and random insane things happen. God's a dick, the antagonist; I'm rooting for the humans and God keeps stepping in and drowning everyone or sending them to slavery in Egypt. The Old Testament is a nonsensical episodic novel, which makes it awesome. It's probably the biggest influence on my own writing.

if you could take a cross-country road trip with any literary character

When I was younger, Dean Moriarty, the young Dean Moriarty, not old Dean Moriarty, the one they never found. I don't really do drugs anymore, so I'm not sure I could handle a Dean Moriarty in my old age. Huckleberry Finn would be fun to cruise with. Barry Hannah's Ray, well, see what I said about Dean? What about Dean and Ray together? If I could just watch those two and sit in the back seat, that would be something.

book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone

I can't say that I've ever done that, I don't think. I didn't own a coffee table until my wife and I moved in together. We're not that much into impressing anyone, since we're kinda slobs. Books end up on the coffee table because we're too lazy to put them back on the shelf.

if you could subscribe to only one literary journal

Everyone here says Hobart, and I can't disagree: Hobart's the shit. So Hobart. That and New York Tyrant. And PANK.

best thing you’ve read online recently

This, by Pauls Toutonghi

most anticipated upcoming release

Man Martin's Paradise Dogs (from Thomas Dunne Books). That's a bit of a cheat, since I've read it already. So, a book I'm excited about but haven't read or have only read excerpts from: Amelia Grey's Threats.

recommended reading list:

Atlanta Authors

(Not every author currently alive and living in Atlanta, but those whose books come to mind that I think are great. Some of these titles are forthcoming; look for them!)

- Scorch Atlas and There Is No Year by Blake Butler

- Big in Japan by Christopher Bundy

- The Greek Gods as Telephone Wires and Elapsing Speedway Organism and Ten Pins, Ten Frames and Glass Is Really a Liquid by Bruce Covey

- Slouching in the Path of a Comet and Letter to So and So from Wherever by Mike Dockins

- Days of the Endless Corvette and Paradise Dogs by Man Martin

- Selected Adult Lessons by Amy McDaniel (unfortunately sold out, but more will be coming from Amy for sure)

- Land O'Goshen by Charles McNair

- Weed Over Flower by Jenny Sadre-Orafai

- Flowing in the Gossamer Fold by Ben Spivey

By Atlantans-for-the-moment:

- The Difficult Farm and The Trees, The Trees by Heather Christle

- Fireproof Swan (also sold out, I think) and The Black Forest by Christopher DeWeese