Quite the Year

Today marks a year since Cut Through the Bone’s release. The book and I have had quite the year. Cut Through the Bone has sold over 1,000 print copies in 10 countries; was longlisted by The Story Prize along with collections by Robin Black, Amelia Gray, Belle Boggs, Nadine Gordimer, Ron Rash, Justin Taylor, Joyce Carol Oates, and more.

I’ve read from Cut Through the Bone at over twenty readings including trips within California and to Seattle, New York, and Ireland. Thanks to this book, I was invited to read at the 2011 Cork International Short Story Festival, at which I shared the stage with many incredible writers and people, including Órfhlaith Foyle, Siobhan Fallon, Mary Costello, Alison MacLeod, Suzanne Rivecca, Valerie Trueblood, Yiyun Li, Alexander MacLeod, Colm Tóibín and Edna O’Brien–the festival was a thrill, honor and the highlight of my year.

It was also such a surprise and honor to have Cut Through the Bone be one of the first books showcased at The Lit Pub. Thank you to Molly Gaudry and Christopher Newgent for the tremendous read, love, and exposure you gave Cut Through the Bone and for all of the same insightful and generous attention you give other fortunate writers and books.

Readers and reviewers have received the book well, thank you, and I’m delighted and a little terrified that a review is forthcoming from The Believer Magazine in its January, 2012 issue, written by Chris Boucher, Managing Editor of Post Road Magazine and author of the much-hailed novel, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive (Melville House).

I’d like to thank Kevin Murphy and Dark Sky Books for believing in Cut Through the Bone. My deep thanks too to Siolo Thompson for my gorgeous book cover. Thanks to John and Jenn Coen for the series of stunning book trailers.

I remain indebted to the writers I deeply respect and admire who were gracious enough to read Cut Through the Bone and provide such generous book blurbs:

Matt Bell, How They Were Found

Michael Kimball, Us

Victor LaValle, Big Machine

Kyle MinorIn the Devil’s Territory

Lori Ostlund, The Bigness of the World

Laura van den Berg, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves us

William Walsh, Ampersand, Mass.

Kevin Wilson, The Family Fang

My deep thanks also to the editors of the following literary magazines who first published stories included in Cut Through the Bone:

Bound Off, Dark Sky Magazine, Emprise Review, Existere: Journal of Arts and Literature, FRiGG, Ghoti Magazine Issue 18, Guernica, Halfway Down the Stairs. Hobart, Keyhole Magazine Issue 9, Los Angeles Review Issue 6, Necessary Fiction, PANK, Pindeldyboz, Sententia, Issue 2, Southword Journal, Staccato Fiction, The Emerson Review, Toasted Cheese, and Up the Staircase Magazine.

Most of all, I’m grateful to each and every person who bought this book, read this book, talked or wrote about this book. It takes a village to put a book out in the world and a whole lot more to keep a book in the world. I feel very fortunate and grateful.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is that my gift and my curse is that no writing or ‘success’ will ever be enough, I will always strive.

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