September 20, 2008

The Brief and Wondrous Career of Thom Jones


I've got one story left in The Pugilist at Rest, and I've enjoyed them all for the most part, except that one story about the deep sea diver told from the POV of his horn-dog girlfriend.

But, I got to thinking, if Thom Jones were to ever get back to writing
* and release a collection of stories, or maybe a novel, and considering his voicey, stylistic prose, would he be called the "American Junot Diaz" even though, I believe, Thom Jones preceded him into publication world? I think probably, because most people don't know Thom Jones, but to sell books, to promote it, comparing him to Junot Diaz would be pretty wise, though I wonder if Jone would be dismissed as a "Diaz copycat." I don't know. But, this whole thing did give me an idea for another series of posts, but more on that later.

viva el mustache

*Apparently he has written a couple screenplays recently, according to his wikipedia page, but I assume nothing in the literary department. If you read that wiki page, it shows that Jones got his MFA from Iowa in 1973, his first book, The Pugilist at Rest, was published in 1993 ... yes, 20 years later.


Diana said...

I think we read Thom Jones in Contemporary Prose...from that Best American Stories of the Century. Didn't we read his story "I Want To Live!" Man, what a story!

Bryan said...

We did read "I Want to Live!" and that damn thing still makes me squirm. It both intensifies my fear of death, and the want to own a banty rooster named Mr. Barnes.

Bronson said...

Yeah, I enjoyed The Pugilist at Rest. We read it in Roger's Contemp. Prose class last spring. It's one of my favorite books from that class. I haven't read much Junot Dias (as you know, I don't own a copy of Drown or his novel), so I can't really compare the two, but I certainly think he's up there.

oscar bermeo said...

"would he be called the "American Junot Diaz"?"

Not likely since Díaz is an American. Granted, an American with Dominican origins but every bit of an American writer as, say, Charles Simic or Jhumpa Lahiri.

Bryan said...

Good point, Oscar. Junot is an American, growing up in New Jersey after all. I think this is at one time an honest, and stupid, mistake on my part. Thanks for pointing that out.