Robert Swartwood

Robert Swartwood's most recent collection of very short fiction is Phantom Energy.

what are you reading now

The Intruders by Michael Marshall

classic you’ve been meaning to read

I always find this an interesting question, because every person has a different idea of what "classic" means. But for me, there are a few "classics" I've been meaning to read: American Pastoral by Philip Roth, The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins, The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor (I have read Everything That Rises Must Converge at least) Underworld by Don DeLillo, Blindness by José Saramago, Clockers by Richard Price, The Collected Stories of Richard Yates, just to name a few.

last book you finished in a single sitting

I think it was Mad to Live by Randall Brown.

book you borrowed and never returned

I have three books borrowed from an old English teacher that I haven't returned, not because I don't intend to but just because I haven't gotten around to reading them yet: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by M.T. Anderson, How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn, and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

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

Kilgore Trout

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

I don't have a coffee table, but even if I did I'm not sure I would be inclined to keep a certain book out to impress people. However, years ago I did get a large hardcover copy for cheap of The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953 thinking it would be kind of neat to have. I mean, the title alone is pretty impressive, no?

if you could subscribe to only one literary journal

This is the part where everybody always says Tin House, right? Well, I guess I might as well say Tin House, too.

best thing you’ve read online recently

A lot of online stuff I Instapaper on my iPad and come back to months later, and somewhat recently I read and enjoyed "How to Win an Unwinnable War" by Austin Bunn that was in the 2011 fiction issue of The Atlantic. (I know, it was print, too, but I read it via online.)

most anticipated upcoming release

I loved Middlesex, so I was really looking forward to the new one by Jeffrey Eugenides but have heard mixed things, so I'm not really in any hurry to check it out. But the new Stephen King is out, so that will probably be the next book I read.

recommended reading list:

Writers Writing about Writers (the Stephen King Novelist-As-Protagonist Edition, Not Counting Short Stories)

- Salem's Lot

- The Shining

- It

- Misery

- The Dark Half

- Secret Window, Secret Garden

- Desperation

- Bag of Bones

- Cell (protag is graphic novelist)

- Lisey's Story (protag's dead husband was novelist)

(did I miss any?)


  1. Hola, quizás os interese saber que tenemos una colección que incluye el relato 'Oh, Joseph, I’m So Tired' de Richard Yates en versión original conjuntamente con el relato 'A Small, Good Thing' de Raymond Carver.

    El formato de esta colección es innovador porque permite leer directamente la obra en inglés sin necesidad de usar el diccionario al integrarse un glosario en cada página.

    Tenéis más info de este relato y de la colección Read&Listen en http://www.ponsidiomas.com/catalogo/raymond-carver---richard-yates.html

  2. I like to read, and I like your blog. Thanks for your recommendations!