Kyle Minor

Thoughts on Kyle Minor’s Praying Drunk

I read Kyle Minor’s Praying Drunk over the past several weeks. I would have liked to read it more quickly, perhaps ideally over the course of four days, but things kept getting in the way. There were appointments with repairmen. There was work. There was a trip back home to Indiana. I had a reading. My family attended. My brother is currently taking a creative writing course with Kyle Minor. That same day, I read the second half of “In a Distant Country,” the longest story in the book. I almost cried. I told my brother that his writing instructor was good. “Do whatever he tells you to do,” I said. I told my brother how I almost cried. “That’s really good,” said my brother.

I said, “It is!” It’s very good.

Here is a picture of Praying Drunk on my bookshelf:

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When you open the book there are the usual materials. There are title pages, there is a copyright page, there is the dedication. There is an epigraph. And then there is this:

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My hands shake constantly, and more as I get older, so that photo is a little blurry. It reads, “Note to the reader: These stories are meant to be read in order. This is a book, not just a collection. DON’T SKIP AROUND.


I Like __ A Lot / 10 Comments
March 3rd, 2014 / 10:00 am


In the Devil’s Territory

In the Devil’s Territory
by Kyle Minor
Dzanc Books, 2008
220 pages / $16.95 Buy from Dzanc Books
Rating: 6.5








With In the Devil’s Territory, Minor writes primary characters who are to a one religious, but none who testify to supernatural events and miracles in their own lives, in part (it seems) to depict certain of them as areas of as much suffering as anywhere else, and where the traditional Christian lifeline, perceivable congress with God, has been cut and redirected through churches and church schools. He favors a multi-part story that shifts between perspectives to attempt “real story” triangulation (“A Day Meant to Do Less” and the title story). Characters each see a small part of a larger story, and the coordinates to which their narratives point is where the reader gains understanding they lack. Minor has a mind for simple, effective arrangements, which occasionally require narrational contortions to suit.


September 7th, 2011 / 4:02 pm

Marathon Reading of Barry Hannah’s Long, Last Happy is Now Completed

Thank you for joiningus for the exclusive HTMLGIANT webcast of the Marathon Reading of Barry Hannah’s posthumous Long, Last, Happy: New and Selected Stories. If you were a winner of one of the giveaways from Grove/Atlantic or Square Books, please email your home address to kyle (at), to claim your prize.

More information about Barry Hannah at: Wikipedia, Vanity Fair, Boston Phoenix, New York Times, and Mississippi Writers Page.

Order a copy of Long, Last, Happy at: Square Books of Oxford, Mississippi (Barry’s hometown bookstore), Powell’s, Amazon, B&N, or Grove/Atlantic.

Today’s readers were Kyle Minor, author of the short fiction collection In the Devil’s Territory, and Nick Bruno, a senior fiction writing undergraduate at the University of Toledo.

This reading is courtesy of Grove/Atlantic and the Estate of Barry Hannah. The webcast was not recorded or archived.

Random / 57 Comments
December 5th, 2010 / 1:00 am

After a long hiatus, my friend Bryan and I have gathered enough material for a nice few months of updates for our prayer narrative web journal, On Earth As It Is. First up, HTML Giant’s own Kyle Minor.

Round this–

A new major book review section is about to open, at… the Wall Street Journal?

Jeff T. Johnson’s got an essay on “The New Hybridity” at Fanzine.

Castro thinks Ahmadinejad should stop slandering the Jews. You can add that to the list of things Castro and I agree about.

Mathias Svalina has been writing Book Proposals for Broadway Books. From “My Year on a Moving Sidewalk”:

This book will be popular among readers who enjoyed such books at Mary Roach’s Stiff, Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars & the City of Portland, Oregon’s downloadable pdf “SIDEWALK REPAIR MANUAL: How to Repair and Maintain a Sidewalk.”

Bianca Stone has a new chapbook coming out. Someone Else’s Wedding Vows is now available for pre-order from Argos Books.

Tender, imaginative, wry and wise, the poems in Stone’s first collection take the reader from the bottom of the ocean to the orbit of the moon.  In between, the geography of the heart is mapped lyrically and unexpectedly.

Not a lot to complain about in that description, is there?

At the Faster Times, Kyle Minor absolutely loses his shit over Amelia Gray’s Museum of the Weird. I stopped pretending I could follow what he was talking about somewhere toward the middle, but the upshot seems to be that he likes her book very, very much.

And finally, as if you needed me to tell you, the launch event for Richard Yates is at BookCourt tonight. It begins in about ten hours, which means that I am going to leave my house in a few minutes to head down there and claim a seat.

Roundup / 14 Comments
September 9th, 2010 / 9:58 am

Against Answers: A Conversation with Kyle Minor

Last week I mentioned that I had asked Kyle Minor (author of In the Devil’s Territory, Dzanc 2008) to participate in a public conversation about our differences of opinion vis-à-vis literature.  He was kind enough to take me up on the offer.

HIGGS: Let me start by saying thanks for taking time to discuss a topic I know we are both passionate about but approach from different angles: the creation of prose.

MINOR: We’ve been discussing it for a long time. I’m glad to finally do it in a more public manner.

HIGGS: Prose writing, for me, is first and foremost a form of art.  I have this commitment to preserving the autonomy of art, i.e., art for art’s sake, which I think you don’t share with me.

MINOR: I agree that prose writing is a form of art. I also believe that it is a form of communication, and that on the other side there is a reader. I don’t think that the writer who believes in the reader is necessarily acceding to the tyranny of some particular imagined reader. But I do think that, for me at least, literature started in reading, and one of the things I aim to do when I write is to deliver to the reader pleasures akin to the pleasures that other writers delivered to me.

HIGGS: So when you sit down to construct, are you consciously thinking about the reader?


Uncategorized / 72 Comments
March 15th, 2010 / 11:23 am

New Minor

My friend (and highly respected Giant commenter) Kyle Minor has a new story called “The Truth and All Its Ugly” live at Harper Perennial’s Fifty-Two Stories.

I forgive him for being a storyteller only because he’s one of our generation’s finest.

Hopefully he’ll take me up on my offer to hold a public conversation here at htmlgiant about our differing perspectives on the art of fiction.  He’s a powerhouse of literary knowledge.

At any rate, here’s a taste of the new story:

I kept walking, him on my shoulder, axe in my free hand, until I reached the clearing. Then, careful not to wake him, I unbuttoned my jacket and got it out from under him and took it off and laid it on the ground. Then I laid him down on it and made sure he was still sleeping. Then I lifted up the axe and aimed it for the joint where his head met his neck and brought it down.

Author Spotlight / 23 Comments
March 11th, 2010 / 10:20 pm

Giant and Rumpus Hooking Up Pretty Much All the Time Now

Top of The Rumpus today is our own Alec Niedenthal on Kevin Sampsell’s A Common Pornography.

Homeboy-in-chief Kyle Minor wrote a massive piece on “A Kidnapping in Haiti” that went up yesterday. You should make time for it.

Ronnie Scott, editor of The Lifted Brow (which we’ve been excerpting all week here) has a long interview with Jonathan Lethem.

Also, New Yorkers, don’t forget that the Giant/Rumpus Event is tonight at Broadway East.


Web Hype / 6 Comments
January 21st, 2010 / 10:29 am