5 Recent Reads with Amelia Gray

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A review of Amelia Gray's new book, Museum of the Weird appeared in the NY Times Book Review last weekend. This is huge, monstrous for a fairly new writer like Amelia, like being knighted, or given sainthood or starring in your own commercial.

Described as a “cabinet of curiosities” by Michael Kimball, Museum of the Weird won the prestigious Sukenick Innovative Fiction award and involves all sorts of crazy juxtapositions–like being married to a knife for instance.

Amelia will be in NYC this week as part of the Indie Crush Fest (Featherproof Books & Two Dollar Radio), reading Oct. 24 at KGB Bar and then on Oct. 26 at Word Brooklyn. More info on that over here.

Anyway, here's the 5 recent reads from Amelia Gray:

01 “The Real Life Amityville Horror.” I write marketing copy for a living, and every week I write one article about celebrity home remodeling projects, which has me reading real estate blogs on the far corners of the internet. On one such blog, I learned that 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville just sold for $950,000, which ended, as most stories do, with me spending hours reading Crime Library. This one doesn't feature the best crime writing (“Sullivan wore his straightest poker face, while some members of the jury gasped out loud in response to DeFeo's courtroom confession”) but does offer intriguing minutiae.

02 Infinite Jest: WINTER B.S. 1960 — TUCSON AZ. (pgs 157-169). David Foster Wallace. Father teaches son to play tennis in the garage. Published in The Iowa Review as “It Was A Great Marvel That He Was In The Father Without Knowing Him (II)” in 1994 I think, with a few small changes. In 2009, someone on the internet wrote, “the chapter in which Jim Incandenza's father rattles on has to be one of the BEST chapters ever in American literature.”

03 “When I Say Love” Meredith Martinez. I keep talking about this story. Small surprises: “The bird in her arms, limp, headless, pissing bacteria, waved its useless wings at her.” Perfection at the word level.

04 “Guatemala Sinkhole Created by Humans, Not Nature.” The geologists decided it was because of mismanaged infrastructure. I am Bothered by this.

05 “Suicide Tape Transcript.” A transcription of the audio recording at the Jonestown Massacre. “I've been born out of due season, just like all we are, and the best testimony we can make is to leave this goddamn world.” I'll read things like this and lie down in bed. A friend of mine asked me once why we read these things, if maybe it's better to not put certain things in our heads. I don't kn