Black Kids in Lemon Trees

Black Kids in Lemon Trees

I will write something about the other two ML Press books soon. I received them yesterday—simple design, simply made, good job J.A.—and enjoyed all three.

I’ll start with Black Kids in Lemon Trees by HTMLGiant’s Shane Jones.  I’m a big fan of Shane’s writing. I am happy to cop to that. Shane is one of only two people I have let take over The Man Who Couldn’t Blog when I asked him if I could put an excerpt from his book Light Boxes on the site. So there’s that.

This almost seems unfair. It’s apparently already sold out. So you, dear reader, can’t go get a copy for yourself. But I want you to. That’s what I am here to say. It’s very, very good.

In 25 little sections, BKILT follows this wonderful thread of dream logic. Shane does surrealism about as well as one can and still make a readable story on a page. Police in the clouds, cop eyes, shooting at the sun, kids in dayglo shorts throwing lemons at the clouds—the images are so strong, so neatly and quickly rendered. And they all gather together well like cogs in a watch. Or, not a watch. Some sort of mechanism. The function of the mechanism may not make perfect sense, but the gears fit against one another, and the machine has an internal integrity.

There was a nice Believer article about how to read a Russell Edson poem. You can read it all here. That article has been very helpful for me when approaching work like Shane’s.

Nice job, Shane. Sorry, people who don’t have a copy on the way or in their hands.

Author Spotlight & Presses / 9 Comments
October 31st, 2008 / 8:43 pm