Greg Baxter’s short story “Dead-End MF” ran in the same issue of the Cincinnati Review as my “Kamkov the Astronomer,” and after reading only the first paragraph, I knew it was the work of a writer with a fearless voice:
First thing my unhappy ass does every morning is walk this fat chick’s smelly fucking poodle. I ran over her cat one night, and now she thinks she owns me. And that’s just the beginning. I’m her booty call. Every Friday, Saturday night, one hundred seventy pounds of mean, dejected African pussy. I weigh a very light and white one sixty, too.
Just recently, I discovered the Cincinnati Review has started a blog and that for their first monthly feature (now three months old and not yet followed by a second) they profiled Greg and included links to the above-story and another, Two Incidents in the Hindu Kush, about the war in Afghanistan.
As Brock Clarke, the fiction editor who selected Greg’s work, says:
They sound like they couldn’t be more different, but both stories have big things on their minds (war in one, race in the other) and both are entirely irreverent—brutal in places, hilarious in others—in their pursuit of these big things. I loved both of them. They’re exactly the kind of stories we want to publish at CR: stories that have something to say that runs counter to the way these things are normally said, stories that might get the writer and the publisher in trouble.
Greg, a Texan who has lived in Ireland these last ten years, apparently just had a memoir published with Penguin Ireland. Here’s an interview with the Irish Times about it and praise for it elsewhere.
(Photo lifted from the Irish Times. I’ll gladly take it down; just ask.)