About “Max Sees Red”
Max Sees Red — forthcoming from Spuyten Duvyil in April, 2019, follows the adventures of a semi-successful painter in New York’s SoHo in the late 1970s. Max is drawn into a quest to unravel the arson-murder of Shirley, a literary editor, in order to extricate Robert Rosen, one of his oldest friends, a novelist whose hysteria has made him a prime suspect. The book swivels between SoHo bars, lofts, and galleries, and impoverished small towns and abandoned farms in Dutchess and Hudson counties. The city’s artists are just beginning to settle there, clashing with the rural poor, elite establishment landowners, and a shadow neo-Nazi subculture.
"Always remember," Robby intoned solemnly, "everyone's scared of an artist. You might be a quack or you might not and not a single one of them really knows how to tell. It's all done with mirrors. That's why sometimes it pays to be crazy."
From Max Sees Red
An American thriller. New York City's and upstate Hudson Valley's inhabitants at constant odds with one another...old rural families, wealthy art types, publishers, artists, struggling writers, and murders old and new.
—LYNN HONESTO, FORMER SHERIF OF Gila County, Arizona
"Why did Lucia die on her birthday?" Bob Holman was drinking a large Bloody Mary, very spicy, made by the young woman tending his bar. The Bowery Poetry Club has installed a new bar since we were last in here. A bit high for the old red vinyl bar stools.
"I think she wanted it that way," Baz said. "Lucia was a witch, you know. A lot of power that woman."...
The bar was empty, as you can tell from this. Bob flipped off the work lights, leaving the stage area dark, and the more cheerful lights over the bar dominated. Baz and I had come about ten minutes before two, the advertised time for the event: "Come celebrate Lucia Berlin’s life and work. Bring a favorite piece of hers to read."
All the way over from the 2nd Avenue subway stop, Baz had been prepping me not to expect many people. Cold? Too close to Christmas season? Grey? Not exactly, he said.
From "Lucia's Memorial" - Outside/Inside
About “Outside Inside”
The book is...an incredible picture of life in the art/writing scene over that period. A great picture too of New York.
I'd been reading part of Edmund Wilson's diaries which gives a detailed account of the city some thirty years [earlier]. [Martha King’s] account is just as sharp and dense with detail...it’s the period just before the money people completely took over. I like the take on the sixties counter-culture, its naivety in being part of the advance of capital without knowing it. And I think that what it says about women in that period (or now for that matter) is absolutely on the money.
[The] chapter about Wieners and his junkie friends…there really aren't any depictions out there of what Wieners was like at this moment in time, outside of his letters.
...The Olson chapter—with that terrific dialogue about him with Baz—is revelatory. [Martha King] gets at the ambivalence so many people felt towards Olson in such an incisive way.
—Michael Seth Stewart
The picture of San Francisco life at a certain moment in the mid fifties has not been equalled elsewhere... It IS funny how the account of how a wedding is staged brings out the contrasts in society, brings them to the fore, under the sharpest imaginable light.
“North & South”
"Will their child be Baby Bubba, muscular, roaring, ham-handed? Will their child wail unprovoked and inconsolably? Will it suffer mysterious allergies and be forever snifflely and ill-looking? Will these parents puzzle over the fey boy-child who traditionally arrives from the wombs of peri-menopausal women? Will it quickly, brilliantly, master techniques of manipulation and assume the alpha role in the household?
Keep this story secret as the secret unfolds, for the unpredictable fact is that DNA is Las Vegas. Enter the infant."
From North & South
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Online and periodical publications
"Seventy Years ago in the South" (prose, text)
"True Stories from Lynchburg" (prose, text)
"Another Summer of Poverty" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
"A Berth in the Haven" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
"War – 1967" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
"Three Months When I was 18" from Outside Inside (prose, text)
Critique on Paul Blackburn (text)