Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Patrick Somerville

Tonight University Book Store will be hosting a reading by Patrick Somerville, Chicago writer and teacher. His new book of short stories is called Trouble, and gosh it's good.

The stories are by turns very funny and very sad. What follows is a passage from "Trouble and the Shadowy Death Blow," a story about food science, fatherhood, and depraved indifference to human life:

The evening before the trip I tried to play catch with Eric in the backyard but he insisted on wearing his glove on his head.

"Put the glove on right and field this grounder," I said to him.

Eric is at heart a good boy with a sharp wit. There was a time, even that night, out in the yard, under the stars—Wisconsin can be a wonderful place—when I believed he would grow into a good man. Perhaps a strong man.

I don't believe it anymore. He plays at life with too much of his heart. He'll be eaten alive when he leaves the house. The world's all locusts, and people like Eric are corn. Strike one.

He's thirteen and doesn't know how to tie his shoes properly. Strike two.

But strike three. Strike three is the real trouble. His cheeseman dad is a murderer.

Good stuff! Stop by the U District store at 7pm, and catch the reading.

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