Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

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Excerpt from Every Boy Should Have a Man

He was not unusual because he had a man. In those days every boy had a man or wanted one. He was not unusual because he had a man that talked. With the boom in mining and the approaching war, they were breeding more talking mans, and many boys—at least those born to well-to-do families—had […]

Excerpt from Headless

MARNIE The first time I saw Marnie naked, she was lying on her back in an ambulance while two paramedics cut her yellow Burton shell off her torso. The zipper must’ve been caught on the fabric. The medical boys sliced her jacket and all the fleece underlayers right up the middle with a razor-sharp scissors […]

Excerpt from Hairstyles of the Damned

Chapter 1 The other problem I had was that I was falling in love with my best friend, Gretchen, who I thought the rest of the world considered fat. We were in her crappy car and singing, and at the end of the song “White Riot,” the one by the Clash, I realized by the […]

Excerpt from Grab Bag

BACKWARD I hid in my room. Scrubbed sand on my pecker and belly and bum. I was trying to kill the germs but my hands kept shaking and then it hit me. The man’s word. Combust. * * * The ground smoked. The police come by. Also a man in a black suit who talked […]

Interview with Derek McCormack by Raul Deznermio

Grab Bag is comprised of two novels, Dark Rides and Wish Book. Is this a natural coupling? Do the two books have a particular relationship to one another? I want to say: There are no natural couplings in my books. But I won’t. It’s not true. Dark Rides and Wish Book couple nicely, I think. […]

Reader’s guide for Glorious

Discussion Questions 1. Why did the author choose to name the protagonist Easter? How does her name relate to the story? 2. Describe the setting of Glorious. Why might the author have chosen to write about this time period and these places and events? 3. Why do you think Easter continuously chooses to walk away […]

Interview with Arnaldo Correa by Raul Deznermio

In the “Author’s Note” at the beginning of Cold Havana Ground, you write that you were given access to police files of a case that was “deeply tied to believers in three African-rooted religions practiced in Cuba.” How were you able to get access to these police files? How did you come to learn so […]

Excerpt from Cold Havana Ground

Author’s Warning to the Reader This novel is based on events that occurred in the recent past in Cuba. The characters are real, the names fictitious. Descriptions of the Afro-Cuban religious practices are authentic. A glossary is provided at the back of this novel with explanations and definitions of some of the religious words and […]