Throwback Interview with Bestselling Author Elif Shafak by Frank Mundo

55C1D157-C3B9-4C86-8EAE-633718817406.jpegI’ve interviewed a lot of amazing writers over the years. Unfortunately, I never collected my interviews anywhere for safe keeping, and many of them (most of them) are lost forever. In March 2010, I interviewed author Elif Shafak for a magazine that, more than nine years later, is no longer around.Luckily, I found my correspondences with Elif Shafak, one of which had the full interview attached.

I’m posting the interview here as a throwback piece and to keep a record of it. I’m hoping to find some of my other interviews I really enjoyed as well. In the meantime, here is my interview with author Elif Shafak from March 2010:

The Forty Rules of Love: An Interview with Bestselling Author Elif Shafak

 

In Turkey, award-winning novelist Elif Shafak is a mega-star, the bestselling author of nine acclaimed books (seven of which are novels), and the most widely-read female author in the country. Writing in both Turkish and English, Shafak’s work has been translated into twenty languages.

In the US, however, Shafak is probably best known for the controversy surrounding her 2007 novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, a brave and ambitious work for which she was indicted and prosecuted (and ultimately acquitted) under Article 301 by the Turkish government. Pregnant at the time, Shafak (the first fiction writer to be prosecuted under the law) became more of a symbol to us, a reminder of the precious freedoms we sometimes take for granted — but somehow her work was overlooked in the process.

That’s why the LA Books Examiner is pleased to announce the release of Shafak’s newest novel, The Forty Rules of Love. An instant bestseller in Turkey, the book sold 150,000 copies in the first month. More importantly, this mesmerizing and lyrical love story, more accessible to American readers, is a great opportunity to learn more about the important work of this vibrant, intelligent writer and passionate champion of multiculturalism and spirituality.

The Forty Rules of Love is a modern love story between a bored Jewish-American housewife/literary agent named Ella Rubenstein and the charming and mystical Aziz Zahara, a novelist in Holland, whose relationship seems to mirror Rubenstein’s first assignment: a manuscript that describes the 3-year relationship between mystic Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz. What follows is a testament to the transformative power of love and the ancient philosophy of Sufism that link hundreds of years of history with the forty rules of love.

I recently had the great opportunity to interview Elif Shafak. Please take a few more minutes to read the revealing interview below.

Q. The Forty Rules of Love is already a bestseller in Turkey. What are your hopes for this book in the US, and who do you feel is your target audience?

A. In today’s world there are two currents side by side. On the one hand there is a growing interest in Rumi’s philosophy & poetry, in Sufism and mysticism. On the other hand there is also too much ignorance and too many stereotypes with regards to Islam. My novel will come against this kind of background. I am excited about the US launch of The Forty Rules of Love and I look forward to hearing the thoughts of the American people. I do not have a specific target audience in mind. The doors of my novel are open to everyone regardless of religion, class or race. In Turkey the novel has been a big bestseller thanks to the readers. Readers of all walks of life have embraced the story and this is something that I cherish.

Q. What does Sufism mean to you, and why does it play such a major role in your work and in your life?

A. My interest in Sufism began about 16 years ago when I was a college student. At the time I was intrigued by the subject. As years passed I kept reading. Annemarie Schimmel, Idris Shah, Coleman Barks, William Chittick, Karen Armstrong, Sachiko Murata, Kabir Helminski…. I see Sufism as a tapestry of colors and patterns. In my novel Sufism is not introduced as a theoretical, abstract teaching. It is a living, breathing, moving, peaceful energy. I am interested in what Sufism means for us in the modern world. I wanted to bring out how Rumi’s philosophy appeals to us today, even when we seem to be miles and centuries and cultures away from it.

Q. Can you talk about the forty rules of love? Where did they come from and why did you choose to share them?

The rules of love were shaped as I kept writing the novel. It was the characters in the novel that inspired them. Shams of Tabriz was a beautiful person who challenged dogmas and opened his heart to all humankind. He had great influence on Rumi. I shaped the rules with the inspiration they have given me and I wanted to share it with readers everywhere. One of the things that made me most happy about the novel in turkey was how the readers kept text messaging and emailing these rules into one another. If someone felt a bit down, her friends sent messages saying “remember rule number 18”, “think about rule number 23…” and so on. It was amazing to see how the rules were embraced by the readers.

Q. Your books seem to address the dualities of man, culture, and history and the many gaps this quality creates for societies as a result. Within these gaps, however, live controversy, conflict, and often a kind of gloominess that other writers tend to avoid. Personally, I enjoy writers who dwell in the gaps, but why do you continue to go there with your writing?

A. I am a writer interested in showing how humor and sorrow intertwine all the time. My writing has both humor and gloominess. I like to write about sadness through humor and about humor though sadness. So the gloominess in my stories is not “depressing” because there is always a way out, another door. Why do I do this? Simply because I think this is the way life moves; a mixture of day and night, good and bad, death and rebirth. The combination of happiness and sadness, humor and gloominess is the chemistry of the universe and in my novels I like to reflect this. In all my novels there are minorities, people on the fringes of the society and I like to explore the underbelly of the society.

Q. You’ve had some gloominess in your own life. How much of yourself or your life is revealed in your work and through your characters?

A. I have had some gloominess in my life. I did not have a happy childhood. But the important thing is, thanks to this gloominess I discovered the world of books early in my life and I started writing my own stories. I was a lonely introvert child and books were my best friends. I always went to Storyland because it was much more colorful and “real” to me than the life I led. That’s how I began to write fiction. So what might seem to be a “disadvantage” in one area can help us to build something positive and constructive in another area. If we can channel it in the right way, gloominess is something that feeds art and creativity.

Q. In your country you were indicted, prosecuted, and ultimately acquitted of violating Article 301 with the writing of your novel The Bastard of Istanbul. How has that unfortunate experience affected your writing since?

A. To be put on trial for writing a novel was a sad experience. That period of my life has been difficult and I cannot deny that. However, despite the occasional difficulties of being a novelist in Turkey, I believe the beauties and rewards are far more important. There is a very dynamic literary world in Turkey and especially women readers are so generous and embracing. Over the years I developed a special bond with my readers and I get so much inspiration from them. I am a storyteller. I have stories to tell and I love telling stories. This is what matters.

Q. In Turkey you are the most widely-read female author and a major force in the literary world. In the US , however, this isn’t the case (not yet anyway). How does this duality affect your goals as a writer?

A. In Turkey I have nine books out and people know the diversity and energy in my writing. They know the variety of subjects I deal with and how I use different styles as I move from one book to the next. My Turkish is rich with Ottoman words and Sufi words. I write fiction in both English and Turkish, which is quite unusual. I have a solid readership. In Turkey most fiction readers are women. In general men write, women read. I would like to change this. I want women to write and both men and women to read. As for the reception of Turkish literature in the West, we have a long way to go. We in Turkey read Western literature more than the Western world reads Turkish literature. The amount of translated works in the USA is unfortunately still too little. Sometimes Turkish literature is seen as neither too “exotic/Eastern” nor too “Western”. But I believe precisely because we are on the threshold we have so much to offer. If we can build bridges through culture and art, bridges that extend across cultures, we can all learn from each other.

Q. You’ve said that the opposing cultural and religious views of your grandmothers taught you some important lessons that helped solidify your own views. Can you discuss this experience and how it fits into your writing?

A. I am a person interested in nuances and shades. Observing my two grandmothers helped me to see the nuances inside faith & religion. One of my grandmothers was a woman for whom religion very strict and God was always ready to punish. It was a more narrow interpretation of religion, based on guilt and fear. For my maternal grandmother however, religion was about love and tolerance and acceptance. She was and still is in constant dialogue with the entire universe, which she sees as fluid. I have a great interest in women’s culture, oral culture, folk Islam, superstitions, and the magic of life… I like to bring the heritage of women into highbrow literature.

Q. Is Elif Shafak a penname?

A. Yes, Shafak is my penname. When I was 18 and started to publish my first stories, I decided to choose a new surname for myself. Shafak in Turkish means Dawn. I liked the sound and depth of it, and adopted it as my surname. I renamed myself. I think as human beings we have at least two names: the one given to us by our parents and the one we choose as we get to discover ourselves.

Q. Besides your grandmothers, who inspires you?

A. I was raised by a single working mother and she has been a true inspiration for me for many years. I saw firsthand how a woman had to struggle if she chose to live “without a man to protect her”. Over the years many things have inspired me. I have lived a nomadic life and traveling is always a source of inspiration. Istanbul too inspires me with her crazy rhythm. Life inspires me. Life is full of stories.

Q. What books are you reading right now? Are there any writers you feel deserve more attention than they already receive?

A. I have just finished reading The Secret River by Kate Grenville and I liked it very much. I enjoy reading philosophy, Heidegger, Deleuze, Spinoza, Walter Benjamin, Martha Nussbaum… I have an academic background and I am interested in postcolonial, poststructuralist, post-feminist studies. I love William Blake and every now and then go back to reading him again.

Q. What’s next for Elif Shafak?

A. I have started writing my new novel. With every book I feel like I’m making a journey into a new continent and this book will be very different than all the ones before. I like to constantly renew myself.

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. February 2010. Penguin Group (USA). 384 pages.

*Photo of Elif Shafak by Ebru Bilun

For more great author interviews, check out the Author Interview Series from Frank Mundo.

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New Poem Published Today at The Lowestoft Chronicle

Great news! My poem “Not One Before Another” (written for my brother) was published today in The new issue of the Lowestoft Chronicle.

Thanks to Nicholas Litchfield for choosing my poem for issue 39, which includes work from Tom Bont, Suzanne Brøgger (translated by Michael Goldman), Christie B. Cochrell, Rob Dinsmoor, Tim Frank, Rick Joy, Robert Garner McBrearty, R. F. Mechelke, James B. Nicola, Ian C. Smith, and Steven Ray Smith.

Please check it out if you have a minute!

Issue 39 —> http://lowestoftchronicle.com/

My poem —>
http://lowestoftchronicle.com/issues/…

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Book Review: Just Kids by Patti Smith

Bottom line: the writing is lovely and the story is fine. Just Kids is worthy of the attention and the accolades it’s generating. I get it. I get why everyone is praising this book…

However, and it’s a big however, this book was not for me. I’m just not the right audience for it — why?
The author’s utter adoration/idolization of the artist (an almost religious worship) and the supreme importance given to the aesthetic life are, in my opinion, old-fashion relics, romantic woohoo, from my parent’s generation. This odd mystical certainty that the one true path to the one “true” art requires a life of sacrifice, an unrelenting dedicated commitment (enhanced by drugs and experimentation) to struggle and poverty is frustrating to me — and cruel, in a way, to continue to advance to the current generation. It’s like those faith-healing charlatans who, when they can’t heal your particular illness, blame the failure of their powers on your lack of faith.
Plus, it’s a watered-down brand of poverty that no longer exists, a poverty light, of that specific era — sure, with lice and brownish drinking water — but no real violence, no daily terror, no injustice. A poverty in which the author’s part-time bookstore job can finance an apartment in New York, buy art supplies, rare books and fashionable clothes, food, and apparently fund the opportunity to travel to and bum around Paris.
It’s a poverty in which everyone you meet in the neighborhood (not predators or thugs) is a genius and fellow artist-deity in the making: your neighbor is the next Rimbaud, that guy on the corner who looks like Oscar Wilde paints like Jackson Pollock. The girl passed out in her own vomit is the next-next Andy Worhol.
There was one scene in the book where Smith found like 50 cents (or something ridiculous like that) in the grass at the park and she used it put a deposit down on an apartment, bought groceries for a week and some art supplies to boot. It was fascinating! Imagine this life today. I can’t! I couldn’t. I just could not!
This kind of impossible life, this kind of violent-free poverty, this self-imposed sacrifice to art, this mystical devotion to the artist, is, I’m sorry, too too difficult for me to appreciate — despite the author’s having lived through and thrived in it, and despite this excellent and influential artist having written quite beautifully about it, too.
So, while this memoir was not for me, this art she created could definitely be worth your time.
If you’re a fan of Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe, by all means, read this book. If you believe in art and the artist as special or even sacred, this will be a great read. The writing is interesting and poetic, and even when the author is cold and matter-of-fact (which is quite often), I found the writing to be quite lovely.
I guess you could say, yes, while I did swirl the Kool-Aid around in my mouth and swish it about in between my teeth, I just couldn’t swallow it. I wanted to — I tried! I really wanted to suspend my serious disbelief and just enjoy the story. But, like I said, I just couldn’t do it. I’m clearly not the audience for this book. And that’s ok.

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Book Review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

If you’ve gotten this far in your research for Stephen King’s 11/22/63, then you probably already know two things about the book: 1) its remarkable premise — which is thoroughly interesting and wonderful: Jake Epping, a high school teacher turned time traveler, plans to stop the Kennedy assassination (and a few lesser injustices) in an attempt to change the future world (aka the current world for our hero) for the better; and 2) it’s 867 freakin’ pages!
For me, thing number 1 was so remarkable that I readily overlooked thing number 2 and decided to give it go. I had also heard there was a Hulu show coming out or that had already come out based on the book and that helped with this decision to push forward as well.
But I was annoyed about how long the book was and I did complain to anyone who would listen. I thought (I hoped. I justified) that maybe Stephen King is so tuned-in to his audience and is so successful and popular that his publishers don’t even bother to edit his books anymore — which may or may not be true — but it doesn’t really matter in this case, because, as it turns out, after reading the thick book and thinking about it for a minute, I feel that its length is actually a component (an intentional feature) of the story being told by our narrator. And I believe it was done intentionally for this reason —> The future, as you’ll learn (and this is not really a spoiler) is obdurate and does not want to be changed, especially major events like Kennedy getting whacked. Because of this, the super-long story that develops around the time-traveling-high-school teacher is then (I feel) a direct result of Time’s unwillingness to be changed. The story (basically everything that happens to Jake along the way) is ostensibly a barrier to his lofty goal of changing the future. Conflict is what is it. Good old-fashion conflict. Drama. Serious stuff. And it makes perfect sense — at least, it made perfect sense to me, and this is my review, so whatever. I’m probably right about it.
It’s sounds weird and flaky, I know,  but it’s true (within his world), and so, the size of the book, you might say, does matter, in this case. And I think King did it on purpose.
Anyway, that being said, I enjoyed the book — and I bet I’ll enjoy the TV show, too. It made me think, and it made me imagine myself in this crazy scenario, and made me think about what I might do in Jake’s shoes. For me, that’s a real sign that I was heavily engaged with a book and had all the right feelz for the characters. I really truly cared what happened to them. I was interested in their plight, and I was not able to guess the ending, which I found to be satisfying and thoughtfully crafted and delivered. It was a really good book and worth all 867 pages. It made me want to read more King books in the future <— Get it? In the future? 😀

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New Poem Published Today at Beautiful Losers Magazine

I’m super excited to report that my poem, “Excuse Me,” was published today at Beautiful Losers Magazine. A friend of mine said my poems were getting a little intense lately, and that it was time to bring back the humor. So, check out my humorous take on making excuses.

Excuse Me .

I’m so grateful to Beautiful Losers Magazine and Richard Gibney for publishing the piece. This is my second poem placed there. The first was “The Upsell Artist,” another funny poem that addresses how often men think about sex.

I haven’t posted a lot since my first chapbook Touched by an Anglo was published, but I’ve been working on a lot of new poems, so be on the lookout for more posts from me this year!

Keep reading and keep writing.

My other books.

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“Throwback” Interview with author T.C. Boyle by Frank Mundo

I’ve interviewed a lot of amazing writers over the years. Unfortunately, I never collected my interviews anywhere for safe keeping, and many of them (most of them) are lost forever. In January 2010, I interviewed author T.C. Boyle for a magazine that, more than eight years later, is no longer around, and I thought this was one of the interviews that was lost forever as well (since only a teaser version is recorded here on my blog) — which sucked a big one because I really liked what he had to say.

Luckily, I was cleaning out my emails the other day, and I found my correspondences with Mr. Boyle, one of which had the interview attached. So yay for being lazy and not cleaning out my email.

I’m posting the interview here as a throwback piece and to keep a record of it. I’m hoping to find some of my other interviews I really enjoyed as well. In the meantime, here is my interview with author TC Boyle from January 2010:

The Reviews:
Very few writers have had long-term success at writing both novels and collections of short stories. One of these writers is TC Boyle, distinguished professor at the prestigious creative writing program at USC and the prolific and long-renowned author of 12 novels and 9 short story collections.

On January 25th, 2010, both of these worlds will collide with the paperback release of Boyle’s newest bestselling novel, The Women, and the hardcover release of his latest collection of fiction, Wild Child – the perfect opportunity to see for yourself why TC Boyle has earned a solid reputation as one of our nation’s most humorous and entertaining storytellers in both genres.

In The Women, Boyle offers a mesmerizing fictional account of the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright told in reverse chronology through the eyes of four beautiful, passionate, and tragic women who truly loved him. This is Boyle’s third turn at fictionalizing the life of an enormous historical American figure — a triumvirate of egomaniacal geniuses, including John Harvey Kellogg (The Road to Wellville) and Alfred Kinsey (The Inner Circle), whose passions and accomplishments still affect us all today in one way or another.

In Wild Child, Nature is the main tool Boyle calls on to showcase his intelligent humor, surreal style, and socially-conscious sensibility, the hallmarks of his best work, in this excellent collection of 14 stories that gleefully remind us, despite our best efforts, that human beings are just animals once-removed by civilization.

In the title story, likely the one that will get the most attention by critics, Boyle shares his unique version of the wild boy raised in the wilderness by animals. But for new readers of Boyle’s work, or his fans in California, there are a few must-read stories that specifically address our own unique relationship with nature: “Ash Monday” (which discusses the California wildfires); “La Conchita” (based on the 1995 mudslide that buried 9 homes in Ventura); and “Question 62” that details the lives of suburban Californians turned upside down by a rogue mountain lion. The rest of the collection displays the amazing range and talent of a storyteller who lives up to the hype and always delivers the goods.

I especially liked the disturbing story “The Lie” in which a man, who has already used up all of his sick and personal days, lies to his boss about his newborn child’s death as an excuse to get out of work. This story alone is worth the price of admission.

The paperback version of The Women and Boyle’s newest collection of short fiction, Wild Child, are available in bookstores on Monday, January 25th. To learn more about TC Boyle, visit his website.

The Interview:
I had the great opportunity to interview TC Boyle recently. Please take a few more minutes to read this insightful and revealing discussion about his work and his life (including a bit on his next novel now in the works).

Q: Wild Child is your ninth collection of short stories, which coincides with the paperback release of your 12th novel, The Women. What compels or inspires you to write, and how do maintain such a prolific pace?

A: Oh, lordy, at the risk of dragging out the old clichés, let me just say that writing is my life and I cannot address the world without it. (Of, course, Hemingway had a solution for that.) There is an excitement to making art that is like an addiction, a phenomenon I discuss in my essay (at tcboyle.com) called, “This Monkey, My Back.” I never know what a given story or even novel will be and the thrill is in discovering it, sentence by sentence, day by day.

Q: You were born in New York , studied in Iowa , and then made your way here to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara . As fans and students of yours, we Californians have sort of claimed you as one of our own – as one of our best writers. Where do you see yourself in all of this and does geography affect your writing? 

A: I humbly thank all my fellow Californians for embracing me.  It is a joy and an honor to be amongst you.  However, I should say that I’d never been west of the Hudson till I was twenty-one, and then I went all the way west to Buffalo because my inamorata was a Buffalo gal.  Now–and ever since I started at USC in 1978– California is my home, and I ain’t never going back.  As for how this works out in my writing: I guess I will always be something of an interloper here and so perhaps I see things–or saw them–in a slightly different way, as, for instance, in The Tortilla Curtain.  The environment here excites me and it seems strange and new (whoever thought we’d settle in so comfortably with our quakes, our mudslides and firestorms?).  Many of my recent stories and novels reflect this, like “Ash Monday,” which deals with our fires, and “La Conchita,” which is built around the mudslide there, both of which are part of Wild Child.

Q: When I think TC Boyle, I think first entertainment, then music, then craft – all of which combine together into an art form that I genuinely appreciate and admire. In my opinion, you’re one of the few writers who seem to understand that you’re competing with TV, film, music, video games, social media and a billion other fun wastes of time. Is this a conscious effort on your part? Do you worry about your potential audience and the challenge of entertaining today’s “busy” readers?

A: All art is entertainment, lest we forget and try to seal it all away behind the gates of the university. I do what I do unconsciously, making stories because it seems natural to me and allows me to try to sort things out for myself. I am glad that you and others find them engaging on all levels. And yes, I do try to carve out a little place for my work amidst the noise of society and I do believe in giving an entertaining stage performance, but I do not write in order to attract attention or to have pieces to perform.  I know what will work on stage and what will not. And so I select. I also have to admit to being a little tiny bit of a ham and an extrovert, who used to shake out with a little rock and roll band.

Q: Going back to question 3, how much does music influence or affect your writing process?

A: I have never written anything without musical accompaniment. The musicality of the language and the beauty of its construction is the foundation for any story. Beauty, that’s what we’re after. All of us.

Q: I hate the saying, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” As a former high school teacher and current college professor, how do you address this statement?

A: I teach because it is a major part of my life. What makes it even better is that I have been fortunate for many years now to have an audience for my work, so that there is no economic necessity to teach. But I love the interaction with my students, I love their discipline and talent, and I love being privileged enough to be their coach. In my case, anyway, I can do and I can teach too. Further, most of the professors I know teach out of love of the subject and, as is also true for me, as a way of giving back to the system and to the people who inspired us.

Q: As a humanist, your writing addresses a lot of social issues, especially in regard to science and religion – but you don’t offer a lot of answers or preachy messages in response. As you’ve work out these concepts in your writing over the years, have you come close to finding answers for yourself, even if you don’t often share them in your work?

A: Yes, I am concerned with social and environmental issues. What rational person is not? But advocacy and art do not mix. Art is a seduction. Good art invites the reader to think and feel deeply and come to his/her own conclusions. As for myself: I am in despair, caught between a Darwin and a hard place (see the story “Bulletproof” from this collection). I have no hope, no answers. What I do have to counterbalance nihilism is art, family, friendship, usefulness. But then, what is useful when we live only to die?

Q: You’ve had great success in writing both short stories and novels. Which do you prefer and (maybe you can settle the age-old dispute) which is harder?

A: I am equally at home with both and feel lucky to be able to turn to stories after a long exhausting bout of novel-writing — and vice versa.

Q: Kids today (uh oh, I’m sounding like my parents) seem less interested in reading than ever. What do you think this means to the future of writing and publishing? Are we doomed?

A: Yes, we are doomed. While I am deeply grateful to be taught in the classrooms of this country and abroad too, I hate to see the subversive and interactive process of reading a novel relegated to an assignment, like trigonometry. How many of us graduate and do a little trig in our spare time? Here is the ray of hope: books provide an experience that neither film nor video game can fully duplicate, because books — of fiction and poetry in particular — ask so much of individual readers and take them so very deep inside themselves. Of course, this way madness lies, I understand that, but there you have it. Read and get well. Or maybe read and get sick.

Q: How do you feel about e-books and e-readers? Do you use any of these devices?

A: I do not have a Kindle, though my books are licensed for its use worldwide. Our work (that of we writers) would have been stolen long ago, as has happened with movies, music, video games, except that no one cares enough to steal it. Beyond that, the audience for books, even as it dwindles, still wants to embrace the object. A book is beautiful in itself. This is why I have always petitioned for inviting and representative covers–books should look like the rock and roll album covers of a bygone era. Hold the book, enjoy it, stroke it.

Q: What books are you reading right now? Are there any writers you feel who deserve more attention than they currently receive?

A: Just finished Carol Sklenica’s biography of Ray Carver, which was so rich it was like drinking whale’s blood. And I’m rediscovering the multifarious delights of Walter Kirn’s 2001 novel, Up in the Air, which inspired the superb Jason Reitman movie of the same name. Funny thing, too, even though we are doomed (see above), both literarily and literally, there are whole hosts of amazing writers, writing away, and they are far too numerous to name. Go to the bookstore and ask around. They’ll tell you. And definitely check out the L.A. writer, Richard Lange. He’s a great new novelist.

 

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Random Book Reviews Web Blog Reviews Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy Today

I was excited and grateful to learn that my book, Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories, was reviewed today by the Random Book Review Web blog. Check out an excerpt below:

“Hi everyone! This week I’m reviewing Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories by Frank Mundo, which I kindly received from the author and Booktasters. This collection of short stories revolve around a particular character, J.T Glass who works as a security guard at various establishments. The stories are snippets of his life, from his childhood and relationships with his family, to his escapades at work.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Mundo really captures Glass’ voice, who is our narrator for the majority of the stories, and it never falters. It is very dry, occasionally black humour laced with moments of reflection. As a result, Glass comes across as a very well-fleshed out character. He is relatable even in the most bizarre of scenarios, and you cannot help but laugh at some of the predicaments he finds himself in…”

Read the whole review.

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