After the first anthology of sudden fiction, blink, sold out its first printing in 2002, Spout has long planned a sequel catering to the modern fiction lover's short attention span. Now blink again is finally available-a second anthology of innovative sudden fiction by writers from the Upper Midwest.
In its most soulful incarnation, what actually transpires in the vastness of the northern plains? The forty-one short stories gathered for this collection, each less than 1,200 words, form a wide-ranging and occasionally confounding answer to this question. It's the middle of a long, hallucinatory winter on the northern plains, and you're writing a story. Anything can happen. Then it does.
Editors John Colburn, Michelle Filkins, and Margaret Miles, each studiously charting current literary trends from secret locations in Minneapolis, have collected stories of loneliness, betrayal, ghosts, lost dogs, fantastic job applicants and men who want to light each other on fire. All agree that the emergence of sudden fiction onto the contemporary literary landscape has brought fiction and poetry a little closer together, and helped soften the boundaries of genre. Inclusion in the anthology was open to writers from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. In these writers from the Upper Midwest, a place often derided for its stoicism and lack of culture, Spout Press found authors working at the edge of the unconscious, experimenting with literary form, and revealing great tenderness. Spout Press is reported to have cried often in the making of this book, and to not be stoic at all.
The thirty-nine authors explore the strobe-flash intensity of sudden fiction, beginning in medias res and ending at the edge of today's cliff. It's quite probably the feel-good book of the fall season, right down to the hummingbird cover. Contributors include Alan Davis, Andrea Worth, Bayard Godsave, C.J. Hribal, Cezarija Abartis, Christopher Jones, Christy Namee Erickson, Cindra Halm, Danielle Miller, David Bengtson, Dessa Wander, Diana Glancy, Edward Micus, Ellen Dworsky, Emily Graves, Hanna Shepard, Jarda Cervenka, Jay Orff, Jessy Greene, K.C. Hanson, Kathryn Knudson, Kevin Carollo, Kim Teeple, Lon Otto, Martin Brick, Maureen Aitken, Melanie Richards, Nick Healy, Pat Cumbie, Patricia Zontelli, Patrick Hueller, Ray Gonzalez, Ronald Wallace, Shana Youngdahl, Sigrid Tornquist, Sue Taylor, Sun Yung Shin, Suzanne Nielsen, and Tony Rauch.