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Lindsay Hunter owes as much to Denis Johnson as she does to Mary Gaitskill. Her short stories, collected in Don’t Kiss Me (FSG Originals) do not hesitate to descend into the primal urges and dark, lusty behaviors that make us all animals at our core, but they also shine a light on the truth, a nugget of goodness at the center of what is quite often a lonely, depraved and tragic journey, one blanketed in a desire to be seen, to be loved—no matter who we are, or what we’ve done. Hunter’s characters work at diners and long to be included, they take care of their children while embracing their shortcomings, they chase boys into cornfields and kiss their best girlfriends, all the while longing to feel special and included.

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What’s changed for you since Daddy’s came out in September 2010? 

I wrote another book and a half! I got an agent, Jim Rutman, who helped me find a home, FSG, for those books. I grew my hair out. I cut my hair. I grew it out. I got new glasses. I got another dog, Wanda Lee ChocChoc. I bought a house! My beloved soulmate and dog, Lulu, died of cancer. I had a son, Parker, who turns six months old on July 1.

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Three Things You Should Know About Peggy Paula

One. In high school Peggy Paula worked as a waitress at the Perkins. Night shifts were her favorite, kids from her school would come in after games or dances with bleary eyes and messy hair and Peggy Paula knew they’d been drinking and smoking those flimsy joints she’d see them passing, the girls with smudged makeup and rats nests in the back of their heads, proud unblinking eyes, scanning the dining room like I dare you, I dare you to guess what I just let Jared or Steve or Casey do to me, I let him and I liked it and I don’t care, and Peggy Paula honored just to be near these girls, envious, taking their orders for French fries and Ranch, keeping their secrets and the sticky lipgloss tubes they’d sometimes leave behind, watermelon and cherry and berry and once a spicy cinnamon that burned Peggy Paula’s lips for an hour, what kind of girl wanted burning lips, poison lips,

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of literature…

Sean Ferrell:

 

Chuck Palahniuk said something about writing that echoed in my head while reading the debut collection of dysfunctional short stories in Daddy’s (Featherproof) by Lindsay Hunter. I paraphrase, but it goes something like this: “Teach me something, make me laugh, and break my heart.” And that’s what Lindsay Hunter does in this gut-wrenching collection of short fiction, with a sprinkling of hot sex and familial violence on top.

Out There

People burn cars out there. My father took us out there when I was 11 and we burned GranGran’s car, him shaking the lighter fluid over the hood and up against the sides like he was seasoning it, then he let me and Lily toss the lighter through the passenger window but we had to promise to run as soon as it left our hands. Less you want me to roll you in hot sauce and eat you like a crispy wing, you’ll run your little asses fast as you can. We kept our promise and felt the fire at our backs but didn’t get to see it start, when we turned around it was going like it’d been alive forever.

Lindsay, how annoyed is your father that you named your book Daddy’s?

Well, smartypants, the truth is that Daddy’s isn’t named after or about my dad, nor is it homage to him; however this didn’t stop him from informing me that I needed to make sure to tell everyone that he’s “the one true Daddy.” So I think he’s secretly titillated, maybe even proud, at the thought of Daddy’s being a thinly veiled tell-all about my childhood or my relationship with him. He hasn’t read the book; once he does he may regret that statement, after he stops barf-weeping that is.