Sunday, April 13, 2008
The spring issue of The Missouri Review, which features my essay, "Put on the Petty," along with a cover photo from my storm chase on June 9, 2005, is now available. This is my first published "literary" nonfiction, which describes the aftermath of being struck by a tornado in Tulia, Texas last April, and the loss my close friend and chase partner Eric Nguyen to an illness later in the year.
A curiosity about this issue is that it features an interview with Charles Baxter, adding another chapter to our strange literary path-crossings (of which he is justifiably unaware, I'm sure). It all started in 2001 when Baxter had a story in Oxford Magazine, alongside my first published fiction. At the AWP conference this winter in New York City, I passed Baxter in the hall and on the street so many times, morning, afternoon, and even late at night, that it became a sort of game. I told Lee Martin after the second day of the event that Baxter must have thought I was stalking him, some lunatic fan taking the doppelganger theme of his newest book one step too far. Now, he and I are in the same magazine again. It's all too much. I'm going to read his novel and then ask for the meaning of it all.