For our next Dock Street Salon on August 27th, we present two readers, Anca Szilagyi and Angela J. Fountas!
Get ready to be transported to the edge of reality with Anca Szilagyi, where the strange and the fantastical thrive! Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Anca Szilagyi describes her writing style as “elastic realism” because she enjoys “stretching the boundaries of realism to different degrees.”
“ I’m in love with the possibilities of the fantastic, “ Anca explains, “particularly in the kind of narrative world where the strange is unquestioned or unexplained or where magic is the only possible response.”
“My writing tends to be very visual and visceral. I often start with an image I’m curious about, such as a jar of teeth, or eating glass or a boy in a bubble. The images drive the narrative with a kind of dream logic.”
If there’s one specific thing that Anca likes to write about, it would be birds. “I wouldn’t call myself a birder, but one way or another birds seem to creep into many of my stories, sometimes charmingly, sometimes rather unpleasantly. I don’t set out to write about birds; they just insinuate themselves into my fiction.”
To see exactly what she means, check out her story “Raven in a Jar”.
A fun fact about Anca is that she is “kind of obsessed with plums”. If her ode to birds wasn’t enough, listen to her audio piece about plums that she wrote for The Frye Art Museum.
Our second reader is someone you will learn more about very soon! Angela Fountas, one of three finalists for the Sou’Wester First Book Award, will be reading an excerpt from “The Good Girl”, the very story that has been nominated for the award.
Initially, Angela enjoyed writing what she called “true fictions”, which she describes as “short-short stories…which grew out of a first line” and “were completely made up rather than inspired by my own life or the lives of others.”
“But more recently,” says Angela, “I’ve been writing longer works that are inspired, in some way, by my Greek or Irish heritage. In my first draft for “The Good Girl,” there’s a note that reads: matter of fictional fact. Those are the kinds of stories I’ve liked writing the past several years.”
For a little preview of Angela’s writing, check out her story “God Bless a Girl Who Thinks Ahead”, which was published in the aquamarine issue of Fairy Tale Review. “Since I’ll be reading from a story that’s inspired by my Greek side, here’s a counterbalance: a story inspired by my Irish side.”
Keep an eye out for further details about Angela and the other two finalists in the upcoming week!
As always, the Salon will be hosted by Phinney Books at 7pm.