The Bayou St. John outpost of the Maple Street Bookstore empire (3141 Ponce de Leon) will host local writers Adrian Van Young and Michael Jeffrey Lee for readings at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. Both authors have released well-received shorty story collections in the relatively near past, but they will present current work. Lee’s Something in My Eye and Van Young’s The Man Who Noticed Everything will be on hand for purchase and signatures.
Both Lee and Van Young have been touted as new voices in an American Gothic tradition–though Lee roundly rejected any true affiliation with the Southern Gothic tradition in his interview with Room 220. Van Young is a recent addition to the city’s literary tapestry. His work has appeared in The Believer, Lumina, and Gigantic. He writes fiction and nonfiction, interweaving his love of horror movies and interest in spiritualism into his writing and, according to his interview with The Rumpus, “Van Young is not merely wading into these traditions…but swirling them around into new, unexpected shapes.”
Lee is one of the best young fiction writers in New Orleans, where he has lived intermittently since 2004. Francine Prose selected Something In My Eye for the 2010 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. The stories in this collection bob along a current of sexual tension, depravity, and a pervasive threat of violence. Lee also collaborates with UNO professor Christopher Hellwig in a literary duo called The Brothers Goat.
This event is free and open to the public. Wine and cheese will be provided.