Please join ANDY BROWN at The Village Learning Place, 2521 St.Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 for a reading from The Chugalug King & Other Stories, Saturday, April 9, 2016, 2 p.m.
The stories in this piercing collection being equal (“Coursing” is literally breathtaking), I asked to share “The Woman Who Wanted to be Hemingway” because the exquisitely detailed prose is not only luminous, it’s humorous. It makes me smile. Sexual tensions between Tighe and his range-loving, rifle-toting, testosterone-driven, Hemingwayesque female mentor, Eloann, aside, the writing in this story is about the writing (i.e., it’s filled with ruminations about the writing process). It’s the rare narrative arc that can support writing lessons and not fall flat—this one bedazzles.
“The Woman Who Wanted to be Hemingway” (below), is one of 10 short stories and personal experience essays collected in The Chugalug King & Other Stories by Andrew Brown, Passager Books (2016), Baltimore, MD; it first appeared in The Teacher’s Edition, Wichita Public Schools, National Endowment for the Arts. It is reprinted here with Andy’s permission.
Andy’s book is one of a series of new book releases this spring by Passager in celebration of their first 25 years. (To learn more about Passager Books and their literary journal, visit http://www.passagerbooks.com/.) -m
The Woman Who Wanted to be Hemingway
by Andrew Brown
ELOANN HUNTER SAID SHE LIKED TO WRITE AS IF HER EYES were a timed camera, focused and set to snap as soon as she came into the frame. Eloann knew what effect she wanted; at least I’ll always say she did. Her first lesson to me was, let the story tell itself. That sounds fine, and I suppose it worked well for the stories she wrote, but I was then, and I am now, just terrible with starting and ending, and nothing that I wire together seems to have much form.
I guess I lack the ability to see the whole picture, or I’m just cussed enough to believe that there is no real beginning, middle, and end. It’s like when I first saw her; she was crouched behind a helicopter door directing a machine-gunner’s fire over the head of my platoon where we lay pinned in the Delta mud. Later she didn’t remember me or that firefight; there had been so many firefights and green 2nd lieutenants, she would say, but I remembered her and her what? Panache? Yes, that. Panache.
The Chugalug King & Other Stories will be available for purchase at the April 9 reading. Copies also can be ordered online from Passager Books: http://www.passagerbooks.com/books/the-chugalug-king-other-stories/