Friday, April 24, 2009

The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit

Well, this is just ridiculous:

Detroit Noir contributor Michael Zadoorian, who just last month slapped the world around with his second novel, The Leisure Seeker, has a short-story collection, The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit, available today from Wayne State University Press.

Apparently, Zadoorian has decided to challenge fellow Detroit Noir contributor Joyce Carol Oates in some kind of Sheer Output Competition, or something...

(Michael wrote a new short story while I was typing the previous sentence.)

But, seriously...

Detroit's in the news much of late, but it's the same old story, snippets of Barry Gordy hits over footage of shuttered factories. Get the real news from Michael, a fine writer worthy of your attention.

Friday, April 10, 2009

"A Visit From The Footbinder," Emily Prager

The hideous cover of this short story collection really stood out when I first saw it in the paperback rack of a small-town pharmacy in 1984. No fourth-rate Carver wannabe stories in here, it fairly screamed. Emily Prager’s cv -- fashion model and National Lampoon staffer -- closed the sale.

The short stories and novella collected herein are mostly along the lines of what I’d been hoping for when I bought the book: the kind of anti-authoritarian comedy and tone the best Lampoon short stories offered, but more expansive and lyrical, on a more personal level. And genuinely transgressive where the lesser Lampoon stuff was merely gross.

Nothing prepared me for the title story, though, and I’ve never gotten over it.

“A Visit From The Footbinder” has the power and menace and simplicity of style of a great folk tale. As far as I know, it hasn’t been anthologized and taught in college. It should be. If you haven’t read it, track it down.