Matthew Vollmer signs FAKES

In our bureaucratized culture, we're inundated by documents: itineraries, instruction manuals, permit forms, primers, letters of complaint, end-of-year reports, accidentally forwarded email, traffic updates, ad infinitum. David Shields and Matthew Vollmer, both writers and professors, have gathered forty short fictions that they've found to be seriously hilarious and irresistibly teachable (in both writing and literature courses): counterfeit texts that capture the barely suppressed frustration and yearning that percolate just below the surface of most official documents. The innovative stories collected in FAKES--including ones by Ron Carlson (a personal ad), Amy Hempel (a complaint to the parking department), Rick Moody (Works Cited), and Lydia Davis (a letter to a funeral parlor)--trace the increasingly blurry line between fact and fiction and exemplify a crucial form for the twenty-first century.

Matthew Vollmer will also be reading and signing from INSCRIPTIONS FOR HEADSTONES, a collection of thirty essays, each crafted as epitaphs, each one unfolding in a single sentence.

from Wendy Brenner, author of Phone Calls from the Dead:

“This is the loudest, liveliest cemetery you will ever encounter, teeming with the voices of those who refuse to rest in peace.  If you are looking for aliens, basketball phenoms, Lakota Indians, GIFs, ladybug infestations, mescaline, puppets, God, the Orion nebula, CGI, guys named Gary, Barthelmian fathers and sons, or yellowjackets carrying venom extracted from dead snake heads, you will find them all here.  One part prayer book, one part party game, Inscriptions for Headstones is exquisitely, exactingly appreciative of life’s most potent, fleeting, and confounding moments.  To quote one headstone contained herein, it is as though Vollmer has ‘dialed into a secret radio station or [is] listening with a stethoscope to the heart of universe.’"

Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters,
By David Shields (Editor), Matthew Vollmer (Editor)
Email or call for price and availability.
ISBN: 9780393341959
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 15th, 2012

Contemporary short stories enacting giddy, witty revenge on the documents that define and dominate our lives.

Event date: 
Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 6:00pm
160 Courthouse Sq
38655-3914 Oxford