A NEW POP LIT Q & A WITH A TALENTED NEW WRITER
Today’s pop quiz is with young Irish short story writer John Higgins.
1.) Best short story ever written?
JH: For me, it’s a toss-up between either “Yam Gruel” by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, or Mike McCormack’s “Forensic Songs.”
2.) Best music to write by?
JH: Tom Waits sets a great tone for when I need to get work done. Plus, he can fit into a three-minute song what some people take hundreds of pages to say.
3.) Can writers be pop stars?
JH: If writing doesn’t work out for me, I’ll let you know…
NOW read John’s story about the fast food business, “Hamburger Hill.”
A ST. VALENTINE’S DAY BOOK REVIEW
There was something about Barb– the way she chewed her pens and threw them out before the ink exploded. And then I’d retrieve the pens and chew where she chewed, even if they did explode. And then I’d have blue teeth for weeks. And people would go, Eugh. He’s been chewing Barb’s pens again. Loser!
-from the story “Barb.”
THERE’S a story– “Confession”– in Alex Bernstein’s humorous new book in which a character confesses to her mother that she’s attracted to members of the opposite sex. (!)
We have our own confession to make: Alex Bernstein is a pop writer.
Like an Erich Segal (whose classic 1970 best-selling novel Love Story we also examine as part of our 2020 St. Valentine’s Day celebration), Alex Bernstein has a natural clarity of style. This enables him to add subtle emotion to his stories– emotion with greater impact because of the writing style.
Bernstein has several pieces– “Manic Pixie Dream Girl Police” one of them– which read like screenplays. As with Erich Segal, this appears to be an excellent foundation for writing in a pop fashion– a starting point from which all things become possible.
WHY DO YOU READ?
If you read for entertainment, enjoyment, humanity, you need to read Miserable Love Stories.
Available here from Skyhorse Publishing.