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…

Fox. Man. Jesus.

Two Carl Phillips poems, “Almost Tenderly” and “Fascination,” won’t leave me. I’ve memorized them, talked to friends about them, written about them a little (here & here & here). Both are from Phillips’s collection Double Shadow and one, “Almost Tenderly,” is…

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