Gabriel Blackwell on Michael Martone on Michael Martone

(That's the world's largest birthday cake, by the way--celebrating Las Vegas, Nevada's centenary, but baked in North Carolina and trucked to Nevada)

Michael has a new note over at Dzanc's new literary magazine, The Collagist (edited by Matt Bell), a new project starting up at Booth (Butler University's new literary magazine, with Prose Editor and fellow WW alum Bryan Furuness) called Whinesburg, Indiana, and should have a short interview posted at The Collagist's blog pretty soon.

In honor of Michael's birthday this week, I'm linking to an an older interview @ Bat Segundo, mostly so that you can hear his voice, and also partly because he talks a little bit about collage (see?) and a little bit about some of the books he loves. Also because the actual technology (the phone) intrudes at the end of the interview, a touch which Michael, I'm sure, appreciated. Finally, to an even older interview re-posted from The Indiana Review at his author page at FC2's site. I feel certain that, if there really is to be a Martone interview book, this would have to be one of the interviews.

Which leads me to the real thrust of this post-- Michael has finally, after over a year of mostly idle membership @ Goodreads, started posting some of the books he has read/wants to read on his page. I noticed, however, that he has skipped over some interesting ones that he put on my reading list.

For instance:
Roy Behrens, Camouflage (a new collection is out this year, called Camoupedia)
Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language
JB Jackson, Landscapes
Hugh Kenner, The Counterfeiters
Lewis Hyde, The Gift
Lawrence Weschler, Boggs
Lawrence Weschler, Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonders
William H. Gass, The World Within the Word
Linda Rosenkrantz & Pamela Satran, Beyond Jennifer & Jason (for the essays on names)

If you supplement these with Michael's book Unconventions, you have a pretty fair Michael Martone primer, and one hell of an education in the aims and limitations of the prose form.

Happy Birthday, Michael! Many happy returns.