Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” On the first of each month, a guest writer shares how he or she spends the day.
April 1, 2012: William Lychack
Bill’s publicist at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt emailed to ask if she could send me a copy of his collection The Architect of Flowers. I had not read anything by him before. After the first story, I was hooked. More about the collection coming later in the month. For now, here’s the first paragraph of that first story, “Stolpestad”:
Was toward the end of your shift, a Saturday, another one of those long slow lazy afternoons of summer–sun never burning through the clouds, clouds never breaking into rain–odometer like a clock ticking all those bored little pent-up streets and mills and tenements away. The coffee shops, the liquor stores, the laundromats, the police and fire and gas stations to pass–this is your life, Stolpestad–all the turns you could make in your sleep, the brickwork and shop fronts and river with its stink of carp and chokeweed, the hills swinging up free from town, all momentum and mood, roads smooth and empty, this big blue hum of cruiser past houses and lawns and long screens of trees, trees cutting open to farms and fields all contoured and high with corn, air thick and silvery, as if something was on fire somewhere–still with us?
Bill is the author of a novel, The Wasp Eater, and his work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and on This American Life.
Come back on April 1st to read how William Lychack spends his days.