Michael J. Lee Book Launch, with Dean Paschal

Read the Room 220 interview with Michael J. Lee by Nathan C. Martin.

Read the Room 220 interview with Dean Paschal by Pia Z. Ehrhardt.

Room 220‘s Live Prose at the Antenna Gallery reading series is pleased to present the book launch for Michael Jeffrey Lee’s Something in My Eye, which was selected by Francine Prose for the 2010 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Lee will read at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, at the Antenna Gallery (3161 Burgundy St.) along with Dean Paschal, M.D., author of the enduring local cult classic By the Light of the Jukebox. Both of these authors are dark and deeply funny. The event promises to be gleeful, morbid, and artfully smart.

In her foreword to Lee’s book, Prose writes: “Three or four stories into Michael Jeffrey Lee’s Something in My Eye—I believe it was right after I read the phrase, ‘The motel had complimentary toilet paper’—I became aware of feeling what I can only describe as a rush of gratitude, pure and simple. I was drawn to Lee’s lineup of loners and drifters, imperiled children and haunted psychos neither because I want to hang out with these bad boys, nor because I plan to cross the street when I see them coming, but because the invitation to inhabit their minds, to see the world through their eyes, and to watch their often unsettling stories play out in space and time enables Lee to do all sorts of extremely interesting things with consciousness and language.”

Dean Paschal’s collection, By the Light of the Jukebox, was met by excitement and acclaim when it was published in 2002 by Joyce Carol Oates’ imprint, Ontario Review Press. Oates praised Paschal’s stories, calling them “tender and demonic, heartrending and chilling,” and adding: “No more disturbing first collection of American short stories has been published in decades.” Now, as when he published his book, Paschal works as an emergency room physician at the New Orleans VA Hospital.

As always, the Room 220 events are free and complimentary libations will be on hand. For more information, email nathan@press-street.com.