Heather Fowler on The Reading Life. (This link includes a very wide ranging Q and A session, a post by Heather Fowler on short stories and one of her stories, which she kindly allowed me to publish)
Do we read deeply or do we read widely? Do we read all of Henry James or instead do we use this time to read 100s of single works by different authors? I don't know, just asking your opinion. In the case of Heather Fowler my commitment is to read all of her work I can access. The reading life can take us down many roads, including dark alleys not mentioned in the pedagogical world. In "Man of Books" by Heather Fowler, the central female character is looking for a reading life dark alley to have sex against the wall with a man with too many books. Many do seek refuge, escape, hiding from the underside of life and their own darkness in reading. Many are addicted, if you have ever taken a cereal box into the CR with you to read when there was nothing else, then you might be a reading addict. Many never really encounter the essence in what they read for all the lenses they feel they must look through. Fowler's skillful explorations of these themes makes "Man of Books" a must read story of the reading life.
The plot centers on a man and a woman who have been talking about books together for a long time. Both are single, the woman, the story is told from her point of view, loves reading and is also of a passionate nature with a wide and interesting sexual history. She badly wants to have sex with him, not really out of love but just to have the experience and to deepen their relationship. She becomes very frustrated to the point of letting her hands wander while he blathers on about structuralism and 11th century texts.
I will leave the bulk of the plot, the dialogue is really marvelous and a lot of fun, untold. As I was thinking about my post, I wondered how this story would work with the gender roles reversed.
Heather Fowler is the author of the story collections Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness; This Time, While We're Awake; People with Holes; and Suspended Heart. Fowler’s work was named a 2012 finalist for Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award in Short Fiction. She received her M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University. Her stories and poems have appeared in:PANK, Night Train, storyglossia, Surreal South,Feminist Studies, The Nervous Breakdown, and others. Her website:www.heatherfowlerwrites.com is very well done and has all the latest information on her work.
I think in the fullness of time, Heather Fowler will publish many wonderful books and stories. Expect to see much more about her on The Reading Life.