Monday, December 31, 2012

Justin Sirois featured on the Baltimore Fishbowl by Joseph Martin

Given Falcons on the Floor’s subject matter – the story of two Iraqi 20-somethings negotiating the limitations and innate heartbreaks of their war-torn homeland – one could be forgiven for assuming Justin Sirois, best known as a poet and the founder of Narrow House Press, might go underground for a while to shake off his novel’s dark, intimate encounters with violence.  But Sirois is nothing if not prolific, and while his self-published serial So Say the Waiters observes a very different set of 20-somethings (in this case, the aimless white collar stiffs and groove-wearing barmaids of Charm City), the project still positively vibrates with Floor’s titanic ambition.  Waiters’ story, which circles around an app that encourages urbanites to kidnap each other, hits smartly tech-savvy 21st century notes worthy of Jonathan Lethem or Tao Lin, but Sirois’ real innovation here is his complicated project’s utter commitment to creating a novel form worthy of the digital age: Waiters’ story appears as periodic “episodes” on Amazon. The result is something decidedly new, an old-school serial with an iPhoner’s sense of immediacy and ephemeral playfulness.  (Note: Episodes 1-5 of So Say the Waiters are also available as a standalone anthology.)

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