Thursday, February 11, 2010

30 Days of Recommendations: The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

by Breece D'J Pancake

What’s it about: a collection of wonderful and very American short stories from the tragically short career of Breece D'J Pancake who took his own life at age 27.

Why should you read it: I’ll let another writer tell you.

"As for Breece D'J Pancake: I give you my word of honor that he is merely the best writer, the most sincere writer I've ever read. What I suspect is that it hurt too much, was no fun at all to be that good. You and I will never know."

--Kurt Vonnegut in a letter to John Casey

Opening Lines from “Trilobites”:

“I open the truck's door, step onto the brick side street. I look at Company Hill again, all sort of worn down and round. A long time ago it was real craggy, and stood like an island in the Teays River. It took over a million years to make that smooth little hill, and I've looked all over it for trilobites. I think how it has always been there and always will be, least for as long as it matters. The air is smoky with summertime. A bunch of starlings swim over me. I was born in this country and I have never very much wanted to leave. I remember Pop's dead eyes looking at me. They were real dry, and that took something out of me. I shut the door, head for the café.”

Read the rest of the story here.