15 May 2005

reading again

Every scrap of work required to obtain the blessed MFA from Queens University of Charlotte has now been completed. All that's left is the shouting, that is to say, I will teach the craft seminar and read from my thesis a week from Thursday, but the work is done, and I'm back to binging on fiction. I've missed it so much. First I read Cloud Atlas, then The Master, today it's Letting Loose the Hounds by Brady Udall. The delirious span of a novel. The taut bow of a short story. Okay, I haven't stayed bone dry but nearly.

I picked up this volume of short stories by Brady Udall about six months ago after reading "Buckeye the Elder" in an anthology. This afternoon, I read "Midnight Raid"—a divorced father forbidden to see his seven-year-old son arrives in the middle of the night to deliver a pet goat—and reread "Buckeye," which I would be happy to read a dozen times more. Brady's so good at beginnings, middles, and ends. "Midnight Raid" starts like this:

Roy growls and gives me the evil eye from inside his doghouse. He's flustered; I'm fairly certain this is the first time in his life a six-foot-three Apache Indian holding a goat has walked into his backyard in the middle of the night. Roy, there under the comfort of his own roof, seems to be trying to come to a decision. He doesn't know whether to raise hell or to make friends with me. I slowly take a step closer—no sudden moves—and ask him, as sincerely as possible, not to make any undue racket. He pokes his head out of his house and yaps, causing the goat I'm holding to let loose a thin stream of piss down my leg.

I suppose this ought to be explained.

To tell the truth, I can't remember a word of Edgar Mint because when I read it I was working too hard. All I remember is how good it was, so I'll be checking that out from the library another time.


  1. Congratulations! I'm envious. One of these years I wanna go the MFA route at either Queens or Warren Wilson.

    Are you moving to Charlotte or will you just be in town for the end of the program? If you'll have the time and inclination to meet up with a virtual stranger please email me.



  2. Congrats, Carol. It looks like I'll be dropping in to the residency for 2 days, just in time for your reading and craft seminar! I'll miss your graduation, though . . .

  3. Congratulations, Carol!

  4. I am SO proud of you, and you will make all of them so proud.
    Congratulations from the heart of me. Edgar Mint is one of my favorite, favorite books. I need to read it again as I let my copy go to someone and can't remember who. I shall have to find his others. Thanks!