I Heart Indies

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jamie Iredell and Other Freaks

Whenever people ask me, "Where do you get your ideas?" I'm tempted to respond, "Jamie Iredell."
The Book of Freaks by my friend Jamie Iredell comes out this March from Future Tense Books.  Too few people are acquainted with Jamie's peculiar genius. He writes stuff that isn't poetry and isn't prose, but everybody these days writes stuff that isn't prose.  Usually when they do it, it just lacks the muscularity of poetry and the coherence of prose.  Jamie's work is in a whole different category.  His first book, Prose, Poems, a Novel, about which I had the pleasure of interviewing him for GPB, played delightfully at the

intersection of those three forms. His upcoming book...
Well, the trope is that it's a dictionary: all the entries are in strict alphabetical order: to find the contents, you must turn to the C's, and the ISBN is in the I's.  The definitions are uproarious, satirically exposing stereotypes and preconceptions, but so much more. The thing with Jamie's stuff is you never know where you're heading. That part drives me crazy. I don't think Jamie knows where he's heading either, but he always gets somewhere worth getting to.  I can't figure out how he does it.
My favorite piece is the one in the heading BOY, which starts with a definition, then segues to a story, that... Again, I can't do it justice, but it reminds me so forcibly of Dybek's "Pet Milk," a story whose structure is absolutely inexplicable by any traditional rules of story telling and yet is so satisfying.
Jamie let me write a blurb for the book.  I believe you will find it in the B's.
I've ordered my copies.  To order yours, go to http://www.futuretensebooks.com/futuret/books.html


  1. Your blog + Jamie's blog: necessary entertainment (and nicely balanced), just like the books. Cheers!