QB will be spending Independence Day watching fireworks and drinking cheap gin in Oxford, Mississippi. This weekend, we’ll try again to visit Graceland, Too, in Holly Springs, or, as my friend Traveling Tom calls it, “Hillbilly Graceland.” Given Elvis’s, ahem, recreational proclivities and tastes (cheap drugs, gold lamé, peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, etc.), Tom’s phrase seems a little redundant, but whatever.
There’s a very short list of writers for whom a new book means that everything else on my plate gets brushed aside: Stephen Dixon, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, Paul Beatty (Paul, where are you?), Jim Harrison, Pico Iyer, Studs Terkel, Kelly Link. Link’s new collection of short stories, Magic for Beginners, has just been published, which means that any time that I might have spent writing on this long weekend will instead be spent reading her spare, supple prose about witches, ghosts, and the terrors of youth and love.
All of this means that you should not expect much–i.e., anything–from QB until 5 July or so. Enjoy the fireworks, and see you next week.