At the intersection of nervy journalism and rogue writing.
Friday, December 9th.
John Jeremiah SULLIVAN
He is a memoirist (Blood Horses), award winning writer (GQ, NY Times Magazine, etc), and an editor for the Paris Review. He also writes for Harper's Magazine and the Oxford American. His work in those publications has twice been given the National Magazine Award (for best feature and best essay, respectively). He has also received a Whiting Writers' Award and a Pushcart Prize. Sullivan is the author of Blood Horses (FSG, 2004) and Pulphead (FSG, 2011). He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Read the Publishers Weekly starred review of Pulphead here: www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-374-53290-1
From "You Blow My Mind. Hey, Mickey!” The New York Times:
Something you learn rearing kids in this young millennium is that the word “Disney” works as a verb. As in, “Do you Disney?” Or, “Are we Disneying this year?” Technically a person could use the terms in speaking about the original Disneyland, in California, but this would be an anomalous usage. One goes to Disneyland and has a great time there, probably — I’ve never been — but one Disneys at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. There’s an implication of surrender to something enormous.
One night my wife, M. J., said I should prepare to Disney. It wasn’t presented as a question or even as something to waste time thinking about, just to brace for, because it was happening.
Justin Heckert lives in Decatur, Ga., with his wife, Amanda, and their dog, Cooper. His work has been published in Atlanta magazine, Esquire, ESPN The Magazine, Men's Journal, the Oxford American, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, among others. In 2005 he was named Writer of the Year by the City and Regional Magazine Association. Some of his work has been anthologized in the Best American Crime Reporting and noted in the Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best American Essays and Best American Sports Writing.
From “And In The End,” Atlanta magazine:
The man’s chest was completely open after a few moments, the layer of his upper chest folded to tickle his nose. Then, beneath the fat, the organs. Organs upon organs in the gorge of the open body, stacked and miraculously fit together, delicate as rose petals. When looking inside of a cut-open body, during an autopsy, one cannot help but get a sense of wonder. The human body is a miracle. The lungs and heart and kidneys are a miracle. The intestines, how they stretch and bend, what they can hold, how they function, the sheer length of them—miracles. That blood can flow through a maze of veins thinner than mechanical-pencil lead is nothing less than a miracle.
An Atlanta native who spent nearly 12 lost years in the suburban wilderness, Thomas is an award-winning staff writer at Creative Loafing, Atlanta's alt-weekly, who covers transportation, the environment, urban development and state and local politics. A graduate of the University of Georgia and former New Yorker, he enjoys crossword puzzles and C-SPAN. He has an intense fear of spiders, clowns and old black-and-white movies in which men court women. Prior to joining CL, he was a staff writer at a weekly newspaper in north Fulton County and a contributing writer at Flagpole, Athens, Ga.’s altweekly, where he wrote about pigeon racers, nudist resorts and mountain town professional wrestling organizations. He lives in Decatur with his wife and two cats.
From “Sober,” Creative Loafing:
On Thanksgiving Day in 2006, I was alone in the bathroom of my Tahitian lagoon bungalow, shaking and vomiting blood. Outside, a lushly tropical island jutted up from the water and topless newlywed brides sunbathed on the decks. But in my all-expenses paid room – courtesy of a contest I'd won on "Live With Regis and Kelly" – the shades were drawn. I looked in the mirror and told myself to stop drinking, yet kept washing my mouth out with vodka. I hadn't eaten anything of substance in two days. I was doing exactly what I promised myself time after time I wouldn't do again.
I spent seven days puddle jumping to different islands in Tahiti, and I can tell you more about my hotel room than I can about the archipelago. My ritual consisted of cleaning out the mini-bar, ordering room service or making my way inland to pick up food that was easy on my stomach – bread, butter, crackers. More importantly, I'd buy two bottles of vodka so I wouldn't have to return to the store the next day. Even though the mini-bar and room service were only footsteps or a phone call away, I wanted options. When I went on my sole excursion – a jet-skiing trip around Bora Bora – the tour guide took a look at me and asked if I'd been partying the night before. No. I was just a guy who'd stayed up all night in his room drinking vodka.