Tee-hee! CCLaP finally has a book in its catalog with a dirty word in its title! WE'RE FINALLY ALT-LIT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! And that's because I simply found it impossible to pass up Austin, Texas artist Fernando A. Flores' literary debut when it first came in, a charming and hilarious crowd-pleaser that is undoubtedly fated to one day be one of the most popular books in our entire catalog. As always, the book's synopsis does it more justice than I could here off the top of my head, so let me just reprint it...
McAllen, Texas is the indie-rock capital of the world; or at least it would be, if all their bands didn't have the pesky habit of disintegrating before ever having their first big success. That's the central premise of Austinite Fernando A. Flores' literary debut, and anyone who's ever pawned their guitar to buy more beer will find much in this book to celebrate. Working from the conceit that all acts of creativity are vital to human happiness, no matter what the public reaction, Flores presents a smorgasbord of interconnected tales about artists who can't quite seem to get their act together--from the performance artist whose most important work was only ever seen by five people, to the revered punk singer who never recorded a single album, to the bar band who accidentally become pawns of a local political campaign--and shows how in all these cases, the mere existence of these artists is a magical antidote against day-to-day ennui and adversity, and that it's actually the rest of the squares who are the true bullshit artists. By turns hilarious, heartbreaking and infuriating, this compact story collection is a loving ode to small-town music scenes in all their messy glory, and a welcome slap in the face to our "Yes We Can" times.
Fernando is overly modest about his abilities as a writer, so let me toot his horn for him -- quite frankly, this is the most astonishing story collection I've seen in the last year, the reason we signed it despite having a usual policy of not signing story collections, and we've already decided to nominate one of its stories for next year's Pushcart Prize, the first time in our history we've done so. The pre-order page is now live over at [cclapcenter.com/bsartists]* -- it's another of our short handmade hardback "Hypermodern" books -- so I encourage you to go ahead and get signed up for a copy now, or simply wait until March 3rd when it's officially released**, and also to add it to your Goodreads library if you happen to be a member over there. I look forward to presenting you this funny, poignant, thought-provoking book!
*And by the way, if you're part of an organization who who like to talk about or promote this book, but are not allowed to use the explicit main title, feel free to use the alternate spellings "Bulls**t," "Bulls---," or simply "BS."
**Are you going to be at this year's South By Southwest music festival? The release party for this book is taking place at it, including performances by a bunch of Fernando's indie-rock friends! Stay tuned for coming details, or write us at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com to be put on a mailing list just for this event.