March 3, 2011

Tobias Wolff and Stephanie Vaughn

Tobias Wolff is just so cool in so many ways.  I love his short stories, and I've just ordered his memoir.  I love his voice, down to earth, engaging.  And he looks so much like my father (who passed away in 1991) they could be brothers.  Same lanky English looking frame, same gray mustache, glasses, same engaging expressions and gestures.

And I've only "read" (listened to) one thing of Stephanie Vaughn's but that story rocks.  I wish there were more to read.  Toby says there is a novel that hasn't been finished, or maybe a novel in stories, about the subject of this one story.  I would love it if she finished it!! (See below - she has.)

(As a side note, it's kind of scary to think about Stephanie's life.  She got derailed somehow.  She has at least one beautiful gut-wrenching story in the New Yorker, and then nothing.  I wonder what happened?  It scares the life out me because the world has a way of taking it all from you, your writing energy, and my fear is exactly this: years go by and I don't get anything accomplished.  Stephanie, if you're reading this, know that your work is so wonderful.  I wish there were more of it!)

Which brings me to the reason for this post.  I listened to Tobias read Stephanie's fabulous New Yorker story "Dog Heaven" again for the umpteenth time this morning.  What an amazing story!  It makes me cry multiple times every time.  And the theme of loyalty is so subtle but so surprising.  The instances she chooses to include you wouldn't think hang together, but then they do, they do so much it hurts!

You should absolutely go listen to it right now.  Again and again.  And then go buy both their stuff!

(I now see that Stephanie's collection Sweet Talk is out there, but out of print.  I just ordered a used copy.)

Question of the Day:  Do you have a favorite author that just has a little bit out there and then nothing?

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