A Particular Music: Victor Lodato Reads at Bloomsbury Books
“For me, most of my writing begins with a character and with his or her particular way of speaking or thinking. Also, I think the humor of my work comes out more strongly when I read it out loud.” Lodato will share his work aloud from one of his latest publications at Bloomsbury Books in downtown Ashland on November 5.
In 2009, Lodato published his debut novel, Mathilda Savitch, winner of the PEN USA Award for Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, and was hailed “a Salingeresque wonder of a first novel” by The New York Times. This year, he landed work in Best American Short Stories, and in early 2017 his second novel, Edgar and Lucy, will be published by St. Martin’s Press. It’s no surprise to find a writer of Lodato’s growing success in Southern Oregon—artists of many disciplines find refuge and inspiration in this valley and he is certainly no different.
“Living in the Rogue Valley has been wonderful. My time in Ashland the past few years has probably been the most peaceful of my life, and the most productive,” Lodato shared when asked about his experience as a working artist and transplant community member. “The Rogue Valley is a very sweet place to live: good food, good wine, good people, stunning natural beauty. It’s a delight to be living and working here.”
So how does a writer like Lodato stay connected and relevant to the writing world at large while residing in a smaller community? How does he locate himself among his fellow writers in the pages of a prestigious anthology? Where does he find inspiration for his next project?
“As for my contemporaries: I read constantly, voraciously,” he admits. “I feel that I’ve only lately begun to understand the art of the short story, and it’s a pleasure to read writers who’ve mastered the form, such as Wells Tower, Alice Munro, William Trevor, Tessa Hadley, and Thomas McGuane. I love the description of a short story as an apocalypse in a teacup. I always shoot for that: big drama in a small space.”
If Lodato’s literary vigor and colorful characters aren’t enough to get you to Bloomsbury in early November (and they should be—reviews of his first novel speak highly of the interesting young protagonist, Mathilda Savitch), his passionate relationship to the spoken (in addition to the written) word should be plenty.
“I always talk to myself as I write, saying the words out loud,” he says. “Each work has a particular music, distinct rhythms, and though I hope that this music translates to the page, it’s definitely more distinct in a reading.”
Victor Lodato Reading
7 pm, Thursday, November 5
Bloomsbury Books, 290 E Main Street, Ashland