Wednesday, April 6 – Mark Maxwell

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My guest this week on Bibliocracy (Wed, 8 PM on KPFK 90.7 FM) is a writer of imagination and cleverness whose construction of a literary conceit is the envy of anybody who reads, dreams or wonders.  Some years back Mark Maxwell built an enviable and delightful premise in which Richard Nixon, doomed and shamed president, walked the beach chatting with, of all people, the naturalistic American prose writer and poet Raymond Carver, two legends in their own ways.  Now, after real struggles to find a publisher for his next book, Maxwell is back with another incredibly appealing and delightful construct, the “unpublished” stories of a disaffected U.S. Postal Worker who, himself lacking a publisher (!), distributes unsolicited his apocryphal if otherwise totally perfect fictional short stories directly to the mail boxes of citizens on his route.  Those heretofore unconsidered documentary fictions tell the presumed life stories of our recent presidents, from Kennedy to Obama, personal and idiosyncratic and funny and revealing, in layers of perspective, one narrative over another, with consequences to their vulnerable, brave, nutty “author” including interrogation by the authorities, what else?  Mark Maxwell is the author of the novels Nixoncarver, Eating Sand Castles and, now, Kings of the World:The Unpublished Stories of Jefferson Daley.  This is one funny, smart, engaging read, and will recall Kurt Vonnegut among other writers who, as Maxwell, have carefully challenged the absurdity of our political history by humanizing and satirizing at the same time.  Thanks for listening to Bibliocracy, on the radio or online live or, later, as a download from the station’s audio archives.  Support independent publishers and community radio!