Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Duvall Street" by David McGrath (6866 words) ****

I'm not a big fan of stories about writers--or writing. I have this bias against writing that is, in part, about the craft of itself. I guess I figure such subjects are too much like self-reflection and too inclined toward being about something that affects a much smaller portion of the general population than of writers themselves--that is, that there are more writers in fiction than there are in any general group of people. Are these biases justified? Probably not. (Where I live, certainly more people seem to be musicians or artists than writers, but there are plenty of the latter as well--and plenty of others who take on the name, or the idea of being a writer, but who don't actually write. I myself try to avoid the term altogether when talking of what I do--beyond, say, a hobby. I don't want to be mistaken for taking such a thing so seriously, even if--given the amount of time I devote to it--maybe I do.)

McGrath's story, however, managed to get past those self-inflicted boundaries, managed to hook me and keep me reading. I love how this writer is perennially writing in his head and in various notes, perennially editing himself. I love that he takes himself so seriously--and yet, like so many, probably isn't anything more than some person who writes an interesting tale once in a while but never anything that will garner some wide-level appeal. I love that his stories mimic whose own life in all its ugliness. Simply put, I love this story. Maybe you will to. Read it here at Paumanok Review.

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