Dan Chaon

Awaiting Your Reply…

Book Review Await Your ReplyHearing so many good things about Dan Chaon’s new Await Your Reply, including references to it being Lynchian (doubt it), and ‘the first great novel about the Internet‘ (which is, respectfully, totally not true, what about The Sluts?)

Anyhow, I’m curious, if yet not fully sold on the prospect, partially because of the hype and partially because whenever I open up to possibilities of this size that seem too good to be true, they usually turn out to be (especially in such huge markets): so I’m asking you. Anybody read this yet? Reactions/thoughts?

Any other overlooked great novels about the internet? (I hate seeing internet capitalized, I don’t know why, it’s just like god.)

Uncategorized / 74 Comments
October 4th, 2009 / 10:50 pm

Is Dan Chaon a god? Yes. Yes, he is. This interview proves it. As does his insanely great taste in music. (Seriously, read Await Your Reply, yo.)

New & Massive: The Rumpus

Fifteen years ago Sheila Schwartz wrote her first novel. In November 2008, four months before its release, she succumbed to ovarian cancer. Her husband, Dan Chaon, wants to tell you about the new book by Sheila Schwartz.

Schwartz is one of those writers who you’ve probably never heard of, and who, but for the dice of fate might just as easily have become a household name. USA Today named her first book of stories, Imagine a Great White Light, one of the best books of the year of 1991. (Actually, if you think about it, USA Today talking about a book of stories at all is amazing in and of itself–if it was tougher than a mountain-climb then, it’d probably take two miracles now.) Anyway, her debut novel, Lies Will Take You Somewhere–which in a just world would never have had to be described as “posthumous”–is out this month from Etruscan Press. In “What Happened To Sheila,” her husband Dan Chaon guides us through his wife’s life and works, and recounts for us the delightful story of their courtship, when he was “an undergraduate student, and she was a first time teacher, straight out of Stanford…” Chaon writes: “I know I’m only one of many of her students who fell madly in love with her, but I happened to be lucky.”

It’s an incredible story, and it seems to me emblematic of the kind of stellar, unique work that The Rumpus is committed to publishing, so after you click over there and read it, click back over this way and read my Q&A with editor Stephen Elliott, which you can find right after the jump. We talk about the impetus for founding the site, what’s missing from the mainstream blogosphere, and the challenges that promising web-projects like his (and ours!) face and how to overcome them or die trying. Plus, you know, other awesome stuff too.


Author Spotlight & Web Hype / 9 Comments
February 5th, 2009 / 12:16 pm