Better rephrase that, I am not exactly "being killed" by an American writer, but I'm reading his newest collection of short stories (a lucky thirteen) entitled The Fun Parts (yes, likely it's ironic, dig?) and I find myself nearly doubled over with semi-embarrassed mirth. That is, the stories feature incredibly well-wrought prose and awkward, horrifying yet hilarious situations: a sarcastic male doula (or, "doulo"), a deranged dungeon and dragons game, a troubled poet working in early childcare, men reminiscing about their teenage shotputting days, a Jewish dance teacher in recovery who spends time with a Holocaust denier: maybe not tempting as premises, but they unfold into weirdly unexpected but very human, and richly strange encounters and moments. Lipsyte's 2010 novel The Ask was an inspired comedic take on the plight of the over-educated, under-employed folk of recent years, but he is dark, man, dark! Same goes for his excellent first collection of stories Venus Drive. The author himself is pretty successful these days, teaching in a prestigious university in New York and gaining more and more critical acclaim, but don't let that stop you, he's very much worth checking out. You can read an interview with Lipsyte in Bookforum here and I've posted a pretty superficial but short clip of Lipsyte on a Brooklyn chat show below. Many lengthier interviews posted around the interwebs as well such as Michael Silverblatt's fine radio one on his KCRW program Bookworm.
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