After publicly crushing on Kevin Canty so much, someone let me introduce his reading.
Buy his book Stranger In This World.
Apply to Montana’s MFA.
He studied under Harry Crews. Nuf said.
Last summer, I found myself laying in a kiddy-swimming pool in my
driveway on a 90 degree day, deciding if I was going to move to
Montana to study fiction. I was thinking about days like this one,
howling winds, snow measured in feet, not inches. And I was reading
one of Kevin Canty’s books of short stories—A Stranger In This World.
I finished reading a story called “Pretty Judy” and I dropped the book
into the pool. It was that kind of shocking—that kind of good.
And by the end of reading that wet book, I knew Kevin was a guy I
wanted to study under. Maybe not a guy I could hang out with in
public, but… here we are.
Kevin Canty is the author of three short story collections—Where the
Money Went, Honeymoon, and A Stranger In This World—and four novels:
Nine Below Zero, Into the Great Wide Open, Winslow in Love, and most
recently, Everything, which was published in 2010. Jim Carmin of the
Minneapolis Star Tribune says, “From beginning to end, Everything is
one of those stunning rare novels with beautiful language, an
intriguing structure and a gripping narrative. We are fortunate that
Kevin Canty, already a great storyteller, has just written his finest
Kevin’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, The New York
Times, Tin House, GQ and elsewhere, and his work has been translated
into seven languages. He teaches fiction at the University of Montana.
Kevin’s are the books you find yourself reading in the middle of the
night, hiding in the bathroom or the closet with a head-lamp on, while
your children, wife, husband or dog are snoring in the bedroom. His
are the books that lie creased, wrinkled, battered on your coffee
table, your nightstand, along with the other very few books that are
constant reminders of why stories are so important. His are the books
you launch across the room at the wall in happiness, jealousy because
they are so damn good. The same creased, wrinkled, battered books
you’ve thrown across the room more than once.
It’s a pleasure and a privilege to give you Kevin Canty.