Brian McGuigan

Brian McGuigan (of Seattle) talks Tao, Junot Diaz, Guns, Poetry Readings, etc……


nascar twerk 2

writing, like Nascar, needs to “twerk”


Rauan: so what do you think of Tao Lin’s prose?

Brian McGuigan: Tao Lin is the literary equivalent of Nascar without the excitement of car crashes. I know people out there love his work (as there are many out there, like me, who don’t), but reading his prose is like watching cars drive in circles. His sentences lack much pulse. The verbs don’t twerk–they don’t even do the Hokie Pokie. They just lay there flat, motionless, like sex you don’t really want to have but you’re doing it because you know your partner wants it and you just want to go to bed. I feel the same about Lin’s dialogue, which is often cited as his skill, but it reads like a bad Miranda July movie, overcooked and unsalted. There’s just no spice. The sum of it all reminds me of writing I read in college workshops over a decade ago. If I could ever make it through one of his novels (Twenty pages into “Richard Yates” I chucked the book on the floor of a beloved Seattle indie bookstore and walked out.), I’d have red-penned the shit out of it. I’ve never understood the hype around Tao Lin. His writing just isn’t for me.


nascar spice

w/ Spice — (twerkin’)


Okay, so that was the first part of my latest Seattle Author Spotlight (# 8, featuring Brian McGuigan).


Brian was, until quite recently, the program director at Hugo House. Brian’s still involved with Hugo House, curating among other events his regular and extremely popular Cheap Wine/Beer & Poetry/Prose nights, but now, after the success of his essay My fantasies of mass murder at Salon, Brian spends most of his working hours on a memoir regarding his experiences with violence, guns, etc. Brian McGuigan is street wise, a damned hard worker and has an excellent and elegant sense of humor. Coming out of a tough Irish family Brian certainly has toughness also and, though I don’t think he’s been to Ireland, Brian speaks as though he’s kissed the Blarney Stone several times! It was great chatting with him in preparation for this Spotlight.

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Author Spotlight & Behind the Scenes / 3 Comments
September 12th, 2013 / 1:50 pm