~post by Julie
There’s a new collection of short fiction out that you simply must read: Bobcat and Other Stories by the new love of my reading life, Rebecca Lee. These stories blew me away. I read the whole book on a flight from Kansas City to Austin. I could. Not. Stop. Sharp writing, unconventional scenarios, characters who are real real. Lee’s sentences excited me. Her sentences. At an industry conference a couple weeks ago this is the book fellow booksellers from across the country were talking about. Read it! It’s in paperback!
Publisher’s Weekly posted a quick little Q&A with Lee earlier this week. Read it over on their website. Here’s an excerpt:
PW: It’s been seven years since your novel, The City is a Rising Tide. Were you working on these stories for that time? Is there another novel in the pipeline?
Rebecca Lee: I’m a really slow writer, glacially slow. I write every day, every morning, but sometimes it’s not even writing, it’s just sitting there staring at the story, wondering about it. It surprises even me that a single story, sometimes about a single meal, can stay interesting to me for years. Maybe writing functions as a sort of stable center. Even through difficult times, the thought of getting up the next morning and writing seems very heartening. I’ve always loved what John Gardner said about revision: that the first draft is building the home and the subsequent drafts are living in it. I’ve used that quote to justify years and years of just sitting there, living inside the work.
The Rumpus excerpted the story Bobcat way back in 2009. Where have I been and why have I not been reading Rebecca Lee all these years?