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Young Skins by Colin Barrett
Young Skins


Winner of the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award


“A stunning debut . . . The timeless nature of each story means this collection can—and will—be read many years from now.” —Sunday Times

“Exciting and stylistically adventurous.” —Colm Toibín
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
 
description 
praise 
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Jack Womack
By This Author

Going, Going, Gone

Terraplane

Heathern

Let's Put the Future Behind Us

Ambient

Elvissey

Random Acts of Senseless Violence
Jack Womack is the author of Ambient (1987), Terraplane (1988), Heathern (1990), Elvissey (1993) Random Acts of Senseless Violence (1994), Let's Put the Future Behind Us (1996), and Going, Going, Gone (2001). The first six are available as trade paperbacks from Grove Press. The last named will be available in trade paperback in Spring 2002.

Let's Put the Future Behind Us is set in Moscow, city of opportunity, around 1994. It is now a historical novel.  The other titles are set, mostly, in two different New Yorks:  one never was, but could have been; the other never will be, but may still at times come close. These six books make up a single, interrelated narrative known variously as the Dryco, or Ambient series; although the author always called it, simply if solipsistically, WomackWorld. The books of this series can be read independently, but (at this point) are best read, or re-read, in chronological succession. Random Acts is the first novel in the series; the action of Heathern takes place roughly 6 months to a year later; Ambient, 12 years after that, Terraplane, 6 years after that, Elvissey, 15 years after that; and Going, Going, Gone, the concluding volume, 14 years after that, or 48 years after the events of Random Acts.  Read in this order, the larger shapes will gradually arise, and take form for the reader.

Womack's short stories, which are few, have appeared in anthologies edited by Kathryn Cramer (Walls of Fear, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"), Ellen Datlow (A Whisper of Blood, "Lifeblood;"The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy[1991, 1994, 1997], and Little Deaths, "That Old School Tie,"), and Don Keller/Ellen Kushner/Delia Sherman (The Horns of Elfland, "Audience"); as well as in Omni ("A Kiss, A Wink, A Grassy Knoll."). He has published articles or reviews in Spin (for which journal he covered the 1996 Russian presidential election, published in the September 1996 issue), The Washington Post Book World, Artbyte, Science Fiction Eye , Fantasy and Science Fiction, New York Review of Science Fiction, and Suddeutche Zeitung (Munich), and was a contributor to Amok: Fifth Dispatch. He wrote the afterword for the current Penguin edition of William Gibson's Neuromancer. He has both written for and appeared on BBC 1, 2, and the World Service. His novels have been or will be soon translated into German, French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese, Slovakian, Polish, Greek, and Norwegian. He has no idea how any of them read, in these languages.

He is a co-winner of the Philip K. Dick Award, and has taught writing at the Clarion West workshop, in Seattle.

Womack is employed as Publicist for all science fiction and fantasy titles at HarperCollinsPublishers (US), including books from William Morrow and Eos. He is reachable at jwoma@mail.bway.net. He is always happy to hear from his readers, but as he reads numerous manuscripts as part of the duties of his day job, he chooses not to read any at home; so don't send him yours. Although he is happy to sign, during personal appearances, any and all copies of his books or articles in whatever way their possessors would wish to have them signed, he is wise to the ways of modern first dealers and collectors and thus now threatens to add "Dear [so and so], hope you beat that nasty crack/child porn/malt liquor/like to be whipped with birch twigs while wearing diapers habit" or something along those lines whenever people bearing large paper bags filled with multiple copies of his works instruct him to add "signature only."

His favorite fiction writers are Ambrose Bierce, Michael Bulgakov, Anna Kavan, Shirley Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, and Vladimir Nabokov. His favorite non-fiction writers are A.J. Liebling, Joseph Mitchell, and Luc Sante. His favorite writer, and greatest influence, is Charles Fort. He realizes that his favorite comic strips,  "Krazy Kat," and "Pogo," have played a far greater role in how he learned to maladjust the English language than did Ulysses.

 Womack was born on January 8, 1956, in Lexington, Ky. His forbears, especially on his mother's side, were a lively if at times excitable bunch. He attended Transylvania University in Lexington, briefly, before moving to New York City in 1977, where he has since resided. Womack is married to Valeria Susanina, a C.S.W, who emigrated to the US from Moscow in 1981. They own a chihuahua named Lulu, and live in Morningside Heights, in the same apartment he has occupied for twenty-two years. On Sunday mornings, the sound of the bells of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine fill their rooms. Womack once smoked a lot, but has learned his lesson and does so no longer. His parents, as of November 2001, are still alive. He tries to be kind to friends and family.

His large collection of books of eccentric thought and deed is well

regarded by the cognoscenti, and his expertise in these fields is occasionally called upon.

Womack remembers New York when every car was dented and every building sooty. He remembers when the forearms of candy store  owners sometimes bore tattooed numbers, and when the crick in one's neck was chronic, from forever glancing over one's shoulder at whoever might be coming up from behind. He remembers when the fires in the Bronx reddened the evening skies, and the jump seats in Checker cabs, and how the West Side Local barreled into the 110th Street station as a blurred rainbow of graffitti. He wishes he could still go into Bonwit Teller, and Gimbel's, and Scribner's, and Louis Lichtman pastries, and Abercrombie &  Fitch (the one that sold elephant guns, not the current model), and Charles & Co., and Chew'N'Sip, and the Lionel Train store on E. 23rd just off Park. He hopes that the ghosts of Rollerina, and the woman who used to sing opera at Christopher and Seventh, and the little old man who sold comic books in front of Bloomingdale's, are at peace. He finds it hard to remember, precisely, all the places in New York from which the Trade Towers were visible.

The New York in Womack's science fiction novels is the New York of 1977, updated in accordance with the spirit of the time.

<November 2017>
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Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

5:00 PM: AMHERST BOOKS
8 Main Street
Amherst, MA


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Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

07:00 PM: INTERABANG BOOKS
10720 Preston Rd
Dallas, TX


Bradford Morrow
Prague Sonata, The

07:00 PM: NEWTONVILLE BOOKS
10 Langley Road
Newton Centre
Boston/Cambridge, MA


John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

7:00 PM: BRAZOS BOOKSTORE
2421 Bissonnet
Houston, TX


2

Viet Thanh Nguyen
Refugees, The

CAL STATE CHANNEL ISLANDS
1 University Drive
Camarillo, CA


Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

7:00 PM: BRAZOS BOOKSTORE
2421 Bissonnet
Houston, TX


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4

Tim Murphy
Christodora

02:30 PM-03:30 PM: TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL
Bright Lights, Big City
Capitol Extension 2.030
Austin, TX


Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

12:00 PM-12:45 PM: TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL
610 Brazos, Suite 200
Austin, TX


Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

7:00 PM: TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL
Lit Crawl - Oracular Spectacular
610 Brazos, Suite 200
Austin, TX


5

David Abrams
Brave Deeds

1:30 PM-2:15 PM: TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL
Novelist Combatants with Brian Van Reet
610 Brazos, Suite 200
Austin, TX


Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

01:00 PM-02:00 PM: BARNES & NOBLE JOHNS HOPKINS
33rd & St. Paul Streets
Baltimore, MD


Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

12:00 PM-12:45 PM: TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL
610 Brazos, Suite 200
Austin, TX


John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL
610 Brazos, Suite 200
Austin, TX


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7

Olivia Clare
Disasters in the First World

7:30 PM: NEXT WEATHER READING SERIES
at Yellow Dog Bookshop
8 South 9th Street
Columbia, MO


Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

06:30 PM-09:00 PM: DELAWARE HUMANITIES
100 West Tenth Street, Suite 509
Wilmington, DE


Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

6:00 PM: CINCO PUNTOS
701 Texas Avenue
El Paso, TX


8

Charmaine Craig
Miss Burma

10:00 AM-3:00 PM: PALOS VERDES WOMEN'S CLUB
Books & Authors Luncheon
Palos Verdes Performing Arts
501 Indian Peak Road
Rolling Hills Estates, CA


9

David Abrams
Brave Deeds

7:00 PM: BRAZOS BOOKSTORE
2421 Bissonnet
Houston, TX


Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

07:00 PM: PORTER SQUARE BOOKS
25 White Street
Boston/Cambridge, MA


Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

6:30 PM: UC SAN DIEGO
DeCerteau Literature Building
San Diego, CA


10

David Abrams
Brave Deeds

7:00 PM: INTERABANG BOOKS
10720 Preston Rd
Dallas, TX


11

David Abrams
Brave Deeds

2:15 PM-3:00 PM: TAMPA BAY TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING
University of South Florida
Poynter Institute-Barnes Pavilion
St. Petersburg, FL


Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

10:00 AM-11:30 AM: TAMPA BAY TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING
Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL


John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

10:00 AM: WORDSTOCK: PORTLAND'S BOOK & LIT FESTIVAL
Portland, OR


Laura Lee Smith
Ice House, The

1:00 PM-1:45 PM: TAMPA BAY TIMES FESTIVAL OF READING
University of South Florida
Poynter Institute, Haiman Amphitheater
St. Petersburg, FL


12

Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

01:00 PM: AIRBORNE AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS MUSEUM
100 Bragg Blvd.
Fayetteville, NC


13

David Abrams
Brave Deeds

7:00 PM: CENTER FOR FICTION
17 E. 47th Street
New York City


Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

07:00 PM: BARNES & NOBLE #2934
Glensford Commons
121 Glensford Rd
Fayetteville, NC


Viet Thanh Nguyen
Refugees, The

7:30 PM: INPRINT
1520 West Main
Houston, TX


14

Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

07:00 PM: QUAIL RIDGE BOOKS
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd
Raleigh/Durham/Chap Hill, NC


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16

Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

06:30 PM-09:30 PM: TERRA TERROIR
3974 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA


Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

7:00 PM: SATURN BAR
Room 220 / Octavia Books
3067 St. Claude Ave
New Orleans, LA


John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

COLGATE UNIVERSITY
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY


17

Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

7:00 PM: AVID BOOKSHOP
and The Georgia Review
The Foundry
295 East Dougherty Street
Athens, GA


Bradford Morrow
Prague Sonata, The

MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL


John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

CITY OF ASYLUM
Alphabet City
40 West North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA


18

Madeleine Blais
To the New Owners

MIAMI BOOK FAIR
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL


John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

11:30 AM: MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL


19

Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

01:30 PM: MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL


Laura Lee Smith
Ice House, The

12:30 PM: MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL
Miami Dade College
300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL


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25

Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a dog memoir)

4:30 PM-5:30 PM: MARFA BOOK COMPANY
105 S Highland Ave
Marfa, TX


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John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

6:00 PM: KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY
4801 Main Street
Kansas City, MO


29

Scott Price
Playing Through the Whistle

5:30 PM-08:00 PM: UNIVERSITY CLUB DC
Meet the Author Night & Book Fair
1135 16th Street NW
Washington, DC


Mark Bowden
Hue 1968

07:00 PM: ENOCH PRATT FREE LIBRARY
400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, MD


Laura Lee Smith
Ice House, The

6:00 PM: ST AUGUSTINE DISTILLERY
Launch Event
112 Riberia Street
St. Augustine, FL


30

John Freeman
Freeman's: The Future of New Writing

VASSAR COLLEGE
124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY


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5

Laura Lee Smith
Ice House, The

5:00 PM: SQUARE BOOKS
160 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS


6

Rabih Alameddine
Angel of History, The

6:00 PM-7:30 PM: SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
Main Branch
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA


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