Kelly Link short short stories just for you

Small Beer Press is running its first Kickstarter and up for grabs are:

A Short Short Story by Kelly Link
A hardcover edition of the book plus a 4-6 sentence short, short story Kelly Link all of your very own. (Does not include publication rights: this is just for you.)

Bookshopping Consult by Kelly Link
A hardcover edition of the book plus: Want to get some personalized recommendations for next time you’re in your favorite bookstore? A 30 minute phone chat with former bookseller Kelly Link. Time and date to be mutually arranged by you and Kelly.

Tuckerization by Kelly Link.
A hardcover edition of the book plus Kelly will include your name in a work of fiction.

Get in Trouble is an Indies Choice finalist!

Wonderful news! Delightful! Get in Trouble is one of the five finalists for the Indies Choice Book of the Year in the Adult Fiction category. Read the announcement, see all the finalists and the timetable for the awards here.

Karen Joy Fowler’s list of 6 favorite books about ‘almost magical’ women

Loved this list by Karen Joy Fowler of “6 favorite books about ‘almost magical’ women” which included books by Maxine Hong Kingston, Michelle Cliff, Nicola Griffith, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Brian Doyle, and Get in Trouble:

“All best-of lists should close with the amazing Kelly Link. Her stories are the most overtly fantastical on this list. She makes us believe. I’ll spotlight “I Can See Right Through You,” “Light,” and “The Summer People.” I’d include “Origin Story” if protagonist Bunnatine weren’t too completely magical to fit my stated theme.”

—Novelist Karen Joy Fowler is the author of The Jane Austen Book Club and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Her short-story collection Black Glass was recently re-released.


(Originally published in Granta‘s February email. Reprinted here in its entirety six months later.)

Kelly Link’s new story collection, Get in Trouble, is out this month. Here, she shares five links to what she’s reading, watching and thinking about right now.

1. Shrub
What is it? Vinegar-based soda. I love weird sodas (except for Moxie, which is disgusting). There’s a company in Vermont that carbonates and bottles maple sap. It’s delicious. Shrub (popular in colonial America; reintroduced, apparently, by time travellers) is a drink made by mixing soda water with whatever kind of vinegar/fruit syrup seems most delightful. You can make shrubs yourself by following the instructions, or you can buy vinegars in almost any flavour. I’ve tried lavender, tangerine and cranberry pear. Shrub tastes best in summer, when you want something a little wersht. But I like to drink it in winter and pretend that it’s miserably hot outside.

2. Echolalia, Winterpills
I’d recommend all of the Winterpills CDs. Their most recent, Echolalia, is an album of covers and thus has a twofold appeal: there’s the pleasure of Philip Price’s and Flora Reed’s harmonies and then there’s the pleasure of seeing what kind of music/material they are drawn towards and what they then do with those songs. I’ve been playing ‘One Day’ (Sharon Van Etten’s original version is also heart-piercingly good) on repeat off and on again for over two months now. ‘Museum of Flight’ (Damien Jurado) is another current favourite.

3. Franciscan Hospital for Children
On 23 February our daughter Ursula will turn six. She was born in 2009 at 24 weeks, weighing a pound and a half. We spent the next year and a bit in hospitals with her. First the NICU at Baystate in Springfield, Massachusetts, then Boston Children’s Hospital. Finally we ended up at Franciscan Hospital for Children, where the doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists slowly weaned her off of ventilator support, and where my husband and I learned a new set of temporary skills: among other things, changing Mic-Key buttons and trachs. Before we got to Franciscan, everyone warned us, ‘It’s not very fancy.’ It wasn’t fancy. It felt, instead, homey. Ursula had her own room, experienced nurses, matter-of-fact therapists. After seven months of crisis after crisis, complication after complication, it was reassuring to be somewhere that wasn’t fancy. It meant that things were looking up. And there were high-school-style cafeteria meals for parents and caretakers, and sandwiches that appeared, mysteriously, every night in the family room refrigerator. Strangest of all, it turned out that the Franciscan Hospital for Children was located literally next door to the white house (the only house on Warren Street, as a matter of fact) where my husband and I, years ago, had rented an apartment. Way back then, we’d never even noticed the hospital next door. We’re all back home now, and in good shape. Franciscan Hospital for Children will always remain dear to my heart.

4. The Vampire Diaries
All of last year I watched The Vampire Diaries with two friends, poets David Pritchard and A.B. Robinson. Is there anything better than hanging out with friends and watching a television show in which vampires make terrible decisions? This year our schedules don’t mesh, but sometimes we still get together for horror movie nights. Next I think we’re due to watch The Unknown (Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford in my favourite Tod Browning movie).

Anyway. I recommend The Vampire Diaries if you like doppelgängers, ludicrous but awesome plot twists, or Castle of Otranto-style gothic high jinks. Think Nashville, but less singing. And give it six episodes. The finale of the first season and the first episode of the second season are my two favourite hours of television. In a nutshell: I’d be perfectly content if, after my death, someone put on my tombstone – ‘She made a lot of people watch The Vampire Diaries.’

5. The Clarion Workshops
I went through the Clarion Workshop in 1995, immediately after finishing an MFA programme at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Clarion is a summer workshop, geared towards science fiction, fantasy and experimental work, in which participants workshop with six different instructors and, over the course of six weeks, write six stories. You don’t sleep much. You do spend a lot of time talking about your and other people’s stories. There’s almost always a lot of practical advice about the publishing industry from the instructors, and one of the best aspects of the workshop is, week to week, the disagreements between current and past instructors about what makes a story work and how writers should write. Ideally, participants come out a little punch-drunk, but with their own model in place for writing, as well as a sense of community. I loved my MFA programme. I loved Clarion too. I’m sure there are mediocre workshops out there. But I haven’t been in one so far.

There’s a Clarion Workshop in San Diego and there’s one in Seattle. I’ve taught at both. They’re both excellent. The deadline for applications for Clarion at UCSD runs through 1 March. Applications for Clarion West in Seattle are also currently open.

Introducing The Bloody Chamber

Kelly wrote an introduction to the new Penguin Classics edition of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, and it was just reprinted in the New York Times Book Review:

“Many of the elements of Angela Carter’s stories have become commonplace in fiction and popular culture. Sexy vampires? Sure. The exploration of female desire? Yep. Fairy tales reworked in contemporary settings? An embarrassment of riches. What we don’t have, of course, is any more Angela Carter stories.
Carter died in 1992. She would have turned 75 this year, and how I yearn for more of her. What would she make of the stories we tell now? What new thing would she make?”

[Powell’s | Indiebound]

You can read “The Lady of the House of Love” from The Bloody Chamber — introduced by Kelly — on Electric Literature.