Friday, September 19, 2008

James Crumley (1939-2008)

I’m not a natural short story writer. I have lots of friends who are. It’s just never sort of been my format. I wrote ’em when I first started because it seemed easier to throw something away that was short. I think for short stories you really have to think that way. You’ve got to arc very quickly. My short stories tend to be truncated novels or sort of things where I haven’t got any idea what’s going on. Sometimes I will write one on purpose. There’s a story called “Hostages” that was in Dennis MacMillan’s collection Measures of Poison which has suddenly been anthologized several places. It’s a ten-page short story set in the Depression. I don’t know where that one came from, but my wife made me do it again because it was so short: “It’s nice, but it’s just too short.”

-James Crumley


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