There are 51 stories in Diane Williams’s new book of short stories, Vicky Swanky is a Beauty (McSweeney’s Books, 118 pages), and not one of them is longer than a page, front and back. I read the collection in a night, and spent a week and a half (with pleasure) working the text over again. Is this flash fiction? It is, except when there isn’t really a narrative. Then the pieces are prose poems. Williams uses a lot of devices consistent with prose poems – the second-person voice, the posing of questions. But whether her book can be classified as one thing or another ultimately doesn’t matter (beyond figuring out if it belongs in the “to read” or “to read, again” pile).
ZYZZYVA EventsJanuary 12, 2018
ZYZZYVA Winter Issue Celebration in Oakland
Location: 7 p.m., East Bay Booksellers, 5433 College Ave., Oakland
Description: Featuring a conversation with Troy Jollimore, Dean Rader, and Ismail Muhammad on the theme of art and resistance. Moderated by Managing Editor Oscar Villalon. Free.February 15, 2018
ZYZZYVA East Coast All-Stars
Location: 7:30 p.m., Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., Brooklyn
Description: Readings by recent and Winter Issue contributors Bino A. Realuyo, Annie DeWitt, Jenny Xie, Melissa Hohl, and Kristopher Jansma. Free.
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