Tag Archives: May We Shed These Human Bodies

Laura Straub’s END O’ THE YEAR list

21 Dec

My futon’s favorite people:
Matt Bell & Brian Oliu, Amber Sparks, and Tyler Gobble.

Cool Presses that started working with Vouched the past six months: Lazy Fascist, Sarabande Books, Queen’s Ferry Press, Curbside Splendor, Spooky Girlfriend, and Black Ocean.

COVER ART: May We Shed These Human Bodies and The Collected Works of Scott McClanahan, Vol. 1

People I’m still confused to have not met IRL yet: Mel Bosworth and Christy Crutchfield

My Husband’s Budding Bromances: Ben Kopel, Tyler Gobble, and Kory Calico

Top 5 Stage Presences in no specific order: xTx, Devan Goldstein (when reading and also when he sings the shit out of some Bon Jovi), Amy McDaniel, Zach Schomburg, Peter Davis.

Favorite Dance Party: Lit Party @ AWP- duh! 

Thing that makes me feel like !!! every time I read it: Ravi Mangla’s Visiting Writers from Uncanny Valley Press

Favorite special thing: Electric lit’s recommendations in my inbox. SO RAD. Also Matthew Salesses’ Writer in Residence series at Necessary Fiction.

These book tours came and BLEW ME AWAY: Bloof books tour, The Southern Comfort Reading Tour, & the Over the Top tour.

Awful Interviews that still make me laugh big and large:  Joshua Ware, Michael Nye, Matt Bell, & Nicholas Tecosky (who still owes me an arm wrestle…)

May We Shed These Human Bodies by Amber Sparks

7 Dec


May We Shed These Human Bodies
Amber Sparks
Curbside Press

A Vouched guest review of our own Amber Sparks’ May We Shed These Human Bodies is being hosted by our friends at Fanzine. Here’s a taste:

Brief and incisive, May We Shed These Human Bodies packs thirty stories across 141 pages. Sparks renounces traditional plot arcs and returns to stories of instinct. Context, when needed, exposes itself as plot develops. Otherwise it is dispensed––there is little need to tarry in the past. “Vesuvius” takes place on a single page. A senator’s wife sets fire to her home. As it burns, she watches her husband on TV.

Read the rest.

Awful Interview: Amber Sparks

17 Oct

You may have heard of Amber Sparks. If you haven’t heard of her yet, and are just now reading her name, Amber Sparks, for the first (and second) time, you may assume she has super powers. For instance, you may imagine sparkles coming out of her fingertips. This is a safe assumption. The latest bit of  lightning her hands have produced is this book called May We Shed These Human Bodies, recently released from Curbside Splendor. She’s coming to read for Vouched Presents in Atlanta on Nov. 9th, so we got to talking…

So, Amber- your new book is titled May We Shed These Human Bodies. How does one go about shedding her human body? In my mind it would look like something out of the 1988 film Beetle Juice.

I love Beetle Juice! I had a huge crush on Michael Keaton in that movie. Yes, I know. That’s odd. I don’t really know how someone would shed their human body, but I picture it sort of like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, or maybe David Naughton in An American Werewolf in London. I imagine there is a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. I imagine it’s not very pretty and it’s a messy, grisly thing. We don’t give up these bodies easily, I think, much as we might want to.

If you were to go through the agonizing process of shedding your human body- what would you want to turn into?

I’d be a tiger. I’ve given long thought to that one. Sleek, fierce, gorgeous, fast, powerful, terrifying–almost at the top of the food chain. As a small weak-looking female person, there is something awfully attractive about the idea of being beautiful and strong and deadly.

I couldn’t agree more! Plus, you’d make a great tiger. What would you do, as a tiger, in Washington D.C?
Would you become a lobbyist?

Ha! I think more likely I’d go after the lobbyists. Actually, what I would do is just go sit on the floor of Congress and lick my lips and stare pointedly at the Republicans until agreed to every single Democratic piece of legislation put forward. I’d browse on the leg of a Congressman or two, if he or she started getting all legislatey about women’s lady parts.

Sounds like you’d be quite the menace! What’s your favorite Memorial/Museum in Washington D.C.? Also- what do people who live in D.C do in the evenings? It’s difficult to imagine day-to-day life in D.C. beyond field trips.

Hmm…I’d say the Lincoln Memorial. It’s incredible. It’s the one memorial here that I feel really humbled by, every time I go. Museum, oh, probably the Hirschhorn, which is the modern art museum. It’s free! Ha! D.C. is just like any other city – you have the tiny part of the city, the Mall, which is the touristy part. And then there’s the rest of the city, which is actually a pretty fun and hip city with tons of good restaurants and bars, a good music scene, and even a burgeoning lit scene! It’s a very young city, and very international. It’s like any tourist city: there’s a secret city inside that the locals live in and love. So I do what anyone does: go out to eat, meet friends for happy hour, go to museums and galleries, catch shows, go to bookstores – just live in the city.

Have you ever been in any of the secret underground tunnels throughout the city? I heard you have those. Do you have secret passages in your apartment/house even?

Nope! Those are only for VIPs. You know, the people “worth” saving if something terrible happens. I definitely am not one of those people.  I wish my apartment had secret passages. I’ve always wanted to live in a house that had them. But in reality it would probably give me nightmares and I’d never sleep, expecting some ghost to come walking through one any second.

I know what you mean! Do you have nightmares often? I used to. Especially whenever I fall asleep to David Lynch films.

Oh, yes, terrible nightmares. I used to have more when I was younger, and I become a bit of an insomniac because of it. I think my body was afraid to let me sleep. Not after watching anything particular (though my sister used to have terrible nightmares after episodes of Twin Peaks!) but I have a lot of lucid dreams, so I’m one hundred percent convinced at the time that bugs are crawling all over the bed or an intruder has entered the room or whatever. The other nightmare I have, and have had since I was very small, is the one where I’m in a huge old house and there’s a murderer hiding somewhere, waiting to kill me, and none of the light switches work. I’m running from room to room and can’t turn on any lights. I still sleep with the lights on when I’m alone or in a hotel or strange place, and I can’t STAND the kind of haunted houses where you walk through and it’s dark and people grab you.  This is beginning to sound like therapy. Oops.

How does that make you feel?

Ha! Actually, sort of relieved. Can I just let you sort out my problems?

Sure thing! Well, as long as you don’t have a bounty on your head. Is anyone out to get you?

Well, literally, no. But metaphorically, yes. That is to say paranoiacly, yes. That is to say, EVERYONE is out to get me.    

Amber, I hate to break it to you, but on November 9th you’ll be reading in Atlanta with a few of those everyones (Michael Nye, Caroline Murphy, Jamie Iredell, and Kate Sweeney) to some additional everyones. So- anything you need to say to everyone?

Yes! I love you all and you damn writers will be the undoing of me yet, I guess. But what a way to be undone. I can’t wait!