Monday, February 2, 2009
War!huh! Good gawd, yall, what is it good for? - Great fiction. Daniel Woodrell has produced three short pieces in the last year dealing with war, the marine corps and difficulty of re-entering civilian life. Nightstand, (Esquire magazine June issue), is about a former marine who kills a man he finds invading his home and the complicated connection he finds he shares with his victim. The Black Step, (New Letters magazine vol. 74 no. 4), follows a young soldier home from the Middle East where he nurses his own mental health, takes care of his mother and goes through the motions of a relationship with a divorcee "who has chosen me to be the man she needs" (this one has a simply devastating ending). The current issue of Narrative Magazine online features a new story, Shitbird, about a 17 year old marine on the island of Guam, in 1971 who is amused with marine life, the "farcical orders" and "absurd obedience" and gets lost in the jungle, high on acid and maybe comes upon the last Japanese soldier still fighting WWII. Shitbird is a fresh stab at a story that's been percolating for at least five years, (see Amnesty Barracks, another short story dealing with the Guam crew from New Letters magazine vol. 69 nos. 2&3 2003) and could have the makings of a novel. A damn fine novel. More good news for Woodrell fans: Winter's Bone - the movie - is set to be filmed in the Ozarks in the next several weeks, Debra Granik, the writer/director of Down to the Bone, (the film Martin Scorcese saw and said get me that Vera Farmiga woman for The Departed - what is it with this director and "Bone" movies anyhow?), is helming with Deadwood co-stars, Garrett Dillahunt and John Hawkes, (as Teardrop) rumored to be involved. Hopefully, a great film will be made and the Woodrell canon will come back into print. Mean time, enjoy the jarhead stories and pray they keep coming.