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Adam Golaski, Color Plates
John Cotter, Under The Small Lights

Talking Leaves…Books is pleased to welcome young fiction writers Adam Golaski and John Cotter to the Main Street store on Friday, October 22, at 7 pm, for an evening of innovative fiction. They are on a national tour to celebrate publication of their new books, and Buffalo is one of the select cities to host an event. The reading is free and open to the public. Copies of their books will be available for purchase.

Adam Golaski’s Color Plates (Rose Metal Press) is a museum of stories, curated by a sort-of Mary Cassatt. Four rooms of Mary’s museum are open to the public, and they are named Éduoard Manet, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Mary Cassatt. Color Plates contains sixty-three little stories—plates—spun from real paintings by these painters. The stories range from sweet to weird, from melancholy to funny. This isn’t just a short story collection, and it isn’t a novel, but something else entirely. The plates each stand alone, offering startling visions and situations. Yet at the same time, Color Plates offers the depth of a novel, with recurring characters, themes, and motifs. The museum says: My name is Mary and Mary is my museum. Paintings are brushstroke upon brushstroke. With a pencil I lift each brush-stroke and make lines.

Line upon line, story upon story, the small fictions in Color Plates will engage you, delight you, and challenge you to consider the intersections between art and time. Brian Evenson puts it this way:

“These are not interpretations or explanations of paintings—not even extrapolations or ekphrases. Instead, Color Plates is about the way a painting can provoke memory, can rustle its way into our head and incite synapses to connect in ways that are far from being obvious in the painting itself. Golaski superimposes the image in the painting with the event trapped in the head, laying the second on top of the first like ‘two texts on tissue paper’ or two lovers in a bed.”

Adam Golaski is also the author of Worse Than Myself (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2008), a collection of strange stories. "Green," his translation of Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, is appearing several strophes at a time in Open Letters. Adam is co-publisher/editor of the experimental poetry press Flim Forum and. he edits New Genre, a journal of horror and science fiction.

John Cotter’s Under the Small Lights is a lyrical take on the lives of lost 20-somethings, lust, and the state of art. Jack, Bill, Star, and Corinna grow up without roadmaps, with dubious role models, and with more pills and gin than they know what to do with. They are actors in search of roles, and they are betrayed in these roles by real life. This is a novel about the doubtful possibility of collective love and the painful experiences which, once having endured them, we wouldn’t be without.

Jack wants Corinna, Star wants Jack, Paul wants fast money, Jack and Bill want immortality in art. On a freezing January day Jack and Bill construct elaborate theatricals on the shores of Walden Pond. In burning July, Jack attempts to insinuate himself into the life Corinna’s picked with another man, the moneyed town and overgrown garden she was born to, the wealthy poet next door, and the distant world of artistic success. Fireworks misfire. A summer party and a winter confrontation heat into harsh words, violence. Long-held secrets are revealed.

Ron Carlson was impressed-- “Under the Small Lights is a kaleidoscopic glimpse at an intense circle of friends as they mix love and obsession in a sort of game of art. John Cotter knows how to write cutting dialogue and create slices of ardent and ambitious lives as they balance on the last edge of youth.”

And so was Janet Peery-- “John Cotter knows his people, their talk, their turf. An auspicious debut by a writer to watch.”

John Cotter is a founding editor of the online magazine Open Letters Monthly.. He was born in Norwich, Connecticut and lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.


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