After reading The Whites “by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt” the big question I had was: why the awkward authorial byline? In interviews, Price said he wanted to try his hand at a straight-ahead crime novel, as opposed to his works that make greater sociological statements like Clockers or Lush Life. But The Whites certainly achieves the higher-than-just-police-stuff standard Price has always set for himself.
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Brad Gooch, whom in the last 20 years or so has become increasingly known for his biographical works, started his career in New York during the ‘70s as a model, landing himself in the pages of high fashion magazines. Modeling, in fact, was a means to keep paying the rent.
Gooch’s true vocation in literature would see his works published in various magazines during the first lap of his literary pursuits.
You might get to the end of “Summer People”, the first story in Get in Trouble, and wonder how you got there. Without giving too much away, it’s probably not an ending you’d expect and it kind of comes out of nowhere.
But then later, while you’re doing the dishes or folding the laundry, it hits you like a smack of lightning: Link set that ending up perfectly, and by the rules laid out in the story, it makes total sense—even if it still might not fit your expectations.
Everyone applauds Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad books for covertly introducing children to the idea of long-term gay love. (Well, almost everyone.) And yes, on one level, the bond between Frog and Toad is touching and inspiring.
These creatures cook for each other, make special gifts, tell each other stories, act as bedside nurses, write kind letters to each other, and do a million other small, nice, thoughtful things. Just like we’re taught to do. And then we grow up.
When I was a senior at Purdue, I took a class on “American Regionalism” with Sean “Kip” Robisch, and it completely changed how I looked at literature. From delving into Ken Kesey’s underrated classic, Sometimes a Great Notion to discovering Willa Cather for the first time, Robisch opened a door for me into a world where the physical setting of a novel or poem mattered just as much as its contents and that writing about a place was the highest form of realism.