|Art by N. Shields, from Date of Disappearance|
But I know we can make it! Remember, this is "micro-philanthropy," meaning you can pledge one dollar, five dollars, whatever you wish -- it's a no-risk deal, you get to write it off, you can pledge to receive gifts, and you're supporting the arts.
I like to think that the project is kinda special: Date of Disappearance is a limited edition, every copy numbered and signed and illuminated beautifully with ten ink-and-charcoal images by Portland artist Nathan Shields. The book will launch a micro-press,and I want to put it out there in a special way -- exclusively through our country's fabulous indie bookstores (i.e., not Amazon or the chains).
During this final lap of fundraising, I've had the honor of being interviewed by fellow author Victoria Patterson (Drift, This Vacant Paradise). Not only is she an extremely gifted fiction writer -- she asks very smart interview questions. A snippet:
VP: You’re a true champion of independent booksellers. Do you see the plight of the artist and the independent bookseller as similar?Visit Three Guys One Book for the whole interview:
MAC: I love this question. Yes, yes. Alfred Kazin characterized modern American writers as being steeped — unavoidably and necessarily — in all the little, often superficial details of life in America, and yet as being at the same time deeply, subtly alienated from all of that. The same could be said of many great booksellers, I think. Both artist and bookseller stand at the vanguard of culture. Both struggle for something essentially impractical, unlucrative, and yet unspeakably necessary. Both have labored to build a life in accordance with a passionate vision. Both accumulate intangible rewards, usually in the absence of lower gratifications (prestige, affluence, vacations). Both are cursed and blessed to live in the conviction that what they do has relevance and worth in this world — to spend their days in service to something they love unreasonably and irredeemably. And strangely, mysteriously, the artist and bookseller alike are also (though each is much more than this too) perpetuators and guardians of community — the writer as observer, voice, empathetic being, the bookstore as megaphone, nexus, flashpoint. ...
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