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Short-story wiz Wells Tower plays Uptown

Posted by: Claude Peck under Books, Book news, Culture, People Updated: February 10, 2010 - 12:10 PM

 

Wells Tower

 Wells Tower, whose 2009 story collection "Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned" has won raves from all quarters, made a stop at Magers & Quinn bookstore in Uptown Tuesday night. For a crowd of about 50, he read part of a story and answered questions, then hit Lucia's Wine Bar for a beer and to hang out with fans.

At the reading, Tower said he would read a "B-list" story from "ER,EB," a decision inspired by seeing The Who play the halftime show at the Super Bowl. He didn't need to apologize for his story, "Wild America," a finely voiced account of two very different teenaged girls.


Many of the stories in the collection first appeared in magazines, including Harper's, McSweeny's and The New Yorker. Tower reworked the stories for the book, saying "revising is a way to make the story count, to make it not suck."

Though he lived for a while in Brooklyn, Tower recently moved back to his hometown
in Chapel Hill, N.C., into a house without an internet connection. "The Internet is destructive to my attention span," he said, "and it's the opposite and enemy of the literary head-space." His web-trashing continued, when he dismissed the Internet
as a giant "gist collector." His web use, however, was demonstrated when he consulted his smartphone after the show.

Towers said he was finishing a story for Harper's about a homeless soccer tournament he attended in Washington, D.C., and also was working on a novel, his first. Asked to name writers he admires, he listed George Saunders, Lorrie Moore, Sam Lipsyte, Karen Russell and Lydia Davis.

 

 

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