Lydia Davis Hates Me

Tonight on an elliptical machine facing an enormous mirror beneath a bank of television screens playing, from left to right, The Kelly File, Mike and Molly and then Mom, Hollywood Game Night, Piers Morgan Live, Baylor vs. Kansas, and The…

Fat City, Part 2

Most of the chapters in Leonard Gardner’s Fat City can function independently as set pieces. They are scenes and character studies that map some of the terrain and a few of the lives in late 1950s Stockton, California. The terrain…

Fat City, Part 1

I came across Leonard Gardner’s Fat City in the mid-1980s. I was 20 or 21, working at The Strand, and I was paid in cash. Employees could buy books at a 50% discount. Each Friday, sometime before lunch, one of…

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