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Original Essays | August 18, 2014 1 comment
Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
David TaylorDescribe your latest project.
Success: Stories is a collection of fiction that invites you into a dozen strange worlds where you'll find some recognizable heartbreak, wicked humor, and weirdness. It's a tour of the human experience from San Antonio to Bangkok, Scotland to West Africa. Each stop takes you deep into the maze that characters must navigate as they try to answer core questions in their very different lives. As someone who has been lucky enough to live in different places, I'm drawn to stories that capture the universality of that strangeness.
When I finished high school, I took a summer job at the nearby military base. I worked in a computer room, running programs that used sonar to map tunnels half a world away, where North Korea was digging under the Demilitarized Zone to South Korea. Some days I went with one of the older guys to test the sonar recorders in a field by twisting a detonator (not the push-down-the-handle motion you see in old movies) and setting off explosive charges of C4. It was so wild I gave the job to a character in a story called "Electrolysis."
How do you relax?
Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage?
Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin?
Name the best television series of all time.
On a clear and cold day, do you typically get outside into the sunshine or stay inside where it's warm?
Aside from other writers, name some artists from whom you draw inspiration and talk a little about their work.
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
I don't know why, but stories have sometimes opened up other worlds for me more piercingly than novels. I love both forms, but these books prove that "short" can mean "huge."
A Dozen Story Collections that BLOW NOVELS AWAY!!!
Any collection by Alice Munro
The Devil's Church and Other Stories by Machado de Assis
In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
African Short Stories edited by Chinua Achebe
The Fiancée and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov
A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom
Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
Not Where I Started From by Kate Wheeler
The Politician and Other Stories by Khamsing Srinawk
Selected Stories by Rabindranath Tagore
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley
The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges
The Gifts of the Body by Rebecca Brown
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David Taylor is the author of Success: Stories.