Goings

IN THIRTEEN SITTINGS


GORDON LISH

“Gordon Lish, famous for all the wrong reasons, has written some of the most fascinating American fiction of the last ten years.” – Don DeLillo

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About the Book

“It’s no overstatement to say that Lish is to the second half of the 20th century what Gertrude Stein was to the first.” —The Guardian

Goings: In Thirteen Sittings is Gordon Lish’s first completely original work in sixteen years, thirteen stories that mark the ongoing vitality of one of the era’s enduring scribes.

Widely acknowledged as one of the most influential editors of our era, Gordon Lish has quite simply changed the face of American literature. The stunning list of writers with whom he has worked closely includes Harold Brodkey, Sam Lipsyte, Ben Marcus, Anne Carson, Cynthia Ozick, Raymond Carver, Will Eno, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel and many more.

But it is in his own writing that his genius is made manifest. There, his quick wit and black humor are on full display, as well as a merciless intellect that skewers no one so thoroughly as, and more often than, a narrator most often known as “Gordon.” In the stories in Goings, Lish wrestles with memory; self-knowledge (the lack and the impossibility thereof); friendship; mothers, sons and lovers. More than that, the language here is a collective paradigm of Lishian prose: a great writer’s attempt to leap off the page.

Publication February 2014 • 160 pages
Paperback ISBN 978-1-939293-33-6 • Ebook ISBN 978-1-939293-34-3

About the Author

 Gordon Lish, shoeless, in mismatched socks,
 summer of 1942

Gordon Lish is the author of Collected Fictions, Dear Mr. Capote, Peru, What I Know So Far, Mourner at the Door, Extravaganza, My Romance, Zimzum, and Epigraph. This body of work, together with his activities as a teacher and editor, have placed him at the forefront of the American literary scene.

Read an Excerpt

HIS SON, FALLING

 

Okay, let’s get right to it before this old machine LF MINE ===gives right out in the middle of the best part OF THUS THUGG ui WANT TI TEKLL PEOPLE, because the machine, this one’s got ONE IF THE HIUNGES ln it busted and they’re all telling me, by way of them warningm me to learn to use the new machine they went and got ne before this old one goes all dead okn me like evertytgubg dies, which I don’t have to tell you Im pldnty used to working with uit back thee wutg all thr stories =======sat here abd wrote fir yiu in uit with the best of intenbtioins in iut and that just when U get ti the crux of ther thhiubng and its all just gkoing ti lay litself ciwn on its deathhbed a bd like everyttghubg ekse has, just gie ti shuit on yoiu. So Okay, thre kids and te grandskidsm they alk got together and got up the greebacjs abd got mr a new inem but IU ca n;t ty=opre rjght with thus old ine niw, my eyesw my arthritis and my i mpogiencde ..shuttinbg kwn on ne itm is the got damn thubg, Yes, I am an old god and it’s juzt luik they say how you can’t tea ch one new tricks but I dkn’t give squat abiuyt thenm is all I juyst wabtit tell yiu this thuinbg whuchg haoppened years back and theeres been ni reilutiuon if it yet a nd it concerns me and my son Lardner jjust that I caan/t. So let’s hurry, Here’s the set up, I’ve got thi s son (Lardner, didn’t I tell yiou?) who used ti come over ti see ne at the old hoyse now and then abd so okay,l ardner he cimes and tere were are sitting at the tabvle and smoking and drinking cubingockkfee abd I get to zoft o carcg sight of my biy abd see ther kid, who;s turbugn gkind if gree it lokks like and thrbn all pastylooking and white and even yeklkow even and so IU says to him, Lardner, you feekiunbg sick oir anytbjunbg like that abs he ups and snfd he sas ti me, nope, pops, Im just that I had thussi ne cazy tomatoc toast out there frmh the hughway vendor on the eway ivere toi yiu and naybe geah, he;s feelkunbg a trCE DIZZY ABD ALL BUTM WIT WORRYM , but HE’S OKAY, but I can see he;s bo okay I ever seen anbdn AND so JUS LEFT HIM SUT A UN UTRE, A ND CAN SEE, WHoA Nellie, BIY, THIS KID IF NUNBE HE’S SICK, YIY JKNIW,M BUT WWE JUSGT GO ON SiPPING SNF PUFFING AND GTHENBM SURE AS HEKLKM IUT;S PLAIN HE,S HONE WHITE AS A GHOST, ALL RIGHTM AND i SAYS TI HIMN, lARDNER, TME YIU TOOKM YIURTRSEKF TI THR SKINK IR THE TO THR TOILET OR SOMETHUNBG, AND HE SHYA
SSURRM SUREM AND JUST MAKES IT TI THR Sin K whuch ius rught near by ub thge kitchen and WE BHE SADRS TI SI D LIKE NBE/S JULOCHCKING A ND i GETS NSEKF UO BEHUNBD HINM FIR NE TKO E THEE ABD SEADY HIM BUTM, SHUTM HE STARTS TO SA GIN BACK AND u CAB SEEM HEKKFUREM UNB ATE BEXRF SECIBD HE;S GIUNBG TI GI AKK THE WAY ABD SI HE DIESM SO HE DoIES, AND i DON’T KNW SHOYKD i SABD THEE ABD TRY TI CTAHGC HIN AND GOI FA,KLING IN MGT OLD BRIKE ASS QWUTG HIM KIR,EAL KFF TKITESJDKE KIUT KIFTBE WAYH ABDS WHAT ui CDECIDXE TI DI i DECIE IN TBESECINDS k;VS GIT JUN REAL ,KIFE BUT UN FALING LIFE IT’S LIKE HIMFAK=== R GIE-ARN TO USE THE Egey KIYRS FIR NE TIK NAKE UO MNG MIBD ABD WEKLL, YOU CAZN SEE THUS OKD NACHIUBNE WOIB;T TAKE IT NI NIRE,M SI THAT’S JUT, NI WAY IF NE TEKKLUNG YIY WGAT i DUD, KIT/S IED-UO ON YOIYU AND THE \\ALL MJJUSGT BHJSTIRY NKOW JUST THE WAHii AZM ASND TBHUDS MACHUNBE JS A DTBE[-BKIWYKH/’RE GKJ G TI RE IIZEE UO ON YOY ABD SIMNEOBDY EBDS UO BUSTED IR BEAT SI BAD HE;S VGIT TI KEEO TI HIS BED FIR THE FREST of his natural life IF UT ON OIYUT IR WAIT ON THE SITUATUINB TIO TEKK YIOY BIW TI DO, MNEANM YIOYU KNIW/ BECSUAE YIY BETTER HAD BECAUZSE YIUR TIMNRE’S COMUNG to yiy wuith loike yiur kid anx TIOM, ME IR HIM IR THE NACHUBE KEEOIUNG THE WHIOLE FCKJEDJ UO DEALK TI ITESKF.WBE IUBG TOO FAST ABD CRAZY ABD MB T A,LL SGAFTS lw Im ok zn czn alk but Lafdcy can’t thoi he’s nit dead byt just parakyzed akk ti shut lkuike a dead mkid =and uts sad cause wboo knkows coukld I have caught hin a d git sqasbed nhysekf sk tbee ;s dad abd biuyt dead abd nit just boy but ZZi didnbn’t and he fekll bad wbeb he cfekk back abd was akk snasned tk sbjut abd yiu jbiw wghat? Kit;s fuckuing sa us whgatm ut;s just fycing sad/G. Here;s yiur overiiod, the end]]].

In the Media

Reader’s Digest, August 8th 2014

Newsweek, June 19th 2014

Book Culture, April 11th 2014

Biblioklept, April 6th 2014

Rain Taxi, Spring 2014

Ad Broad, February 28th 2014

The Guardian, February 25th 2014

The Guardian, February 24th 2014

Booklist, February 17th 2014

M Sarki, February 11th 2014

McNally Jackson, January 22nd 2014

The Millions, January 19th 2014

Electric Literature, January 2014

The Paris Review, January 17th 2014

Electric Literature, January 14th 2014

Harper’s, January 2014

Biblioklept, December 18th 2014