‘A Good Turnout’ for ‘Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye’ Reading

‘A Good Turnout’ for Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye Reading

by Barry Dejasu

Author Paul Tremblay reading from Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye. Photo by Barry Dejasu.

About 15 people attended author and NEHW member Paul Tremblay’s reading of his newest book, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, at the Brown University Bookstore Wednesday evening.

Tremblay mentioned to his listeners that his book’s title came from a song by Neutral Milk. While writing Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, he didn’t limit himself to any particular direction for the book, but rather let the story unfold on its own.

During the Q & A, there were a number of questions about his craft, both for his current novel and for his writing in general. Two of the questions asked of him if he intentionally took inspiration for certain characters and plot devices from works by Pynchon and Flannery O’Connor, which he hadn’t.

At one point, Tremblay talked about how he is drawn to creating empathetic characters, rather than sympathetic ones, which incited a projected conversation with some would-be naysayers.

“I didn’t like that book, because I didn’t like the main character, ” one naysayer said before ending their statement with an expletive.

There were several other authors in attendance including Paul DiFilippo, Jack Haringa, and John Harvey to support Tremblay.

A number of his books sold including No Sleep ‘Till Wonderland.

Author Reading at The Brown University Bookstore

Author and New England Horror Writer member Paul Tremblay will be reading from his newest novel, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, this Wednesday at the Brown University Bookstore.

Tremblay’ Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye was published last month by Chizine Publications. According to Cinema Knife Fight writer Barry Lee Dejasu, who also works in customer service at the Brown University Bookstore,  describes Tremblay’s book as a “strange, dystopian novel, [where] a man fulfilling his six-year time at Farm learns that his mother has dropped out of contact back in City and he begins a personal journey to try and find out just what happened to her.”

According to Amazon, “join Farm today! It’s only six years of your life! Farm is the mega-conglomerate food supplier for City, populated with rabidly bureaucratic superiors, antagonistic and sexually deviant tour guides dressed in chicken and duck suits, and farm animals illegally engineered for silence. City is sprawling, technocratic, and rests hundreds of feet above the coastline on the creaking shoulders of a giant wooden pier. When the narrator’s single mother, whom he left behind in City, falls out of contact, he fears the worst: his mother is homeless and subsequently to be deported under City to the Pier. On his desperate search to find his mother, he encounters ecoterrorists wearing plush animal suits, an election that hangs in the balance as the City’s all-powerful Mayor is infatuated with magic refrigerators and outlaw campaigns, and a wise-cracking, over-sexed priest who may or may not have ESP, but who is most certainly his deadbeat dad. Whether rebelling against the regimented and ridiculous nature of Farm life, exploring the all-too-familiar and consumer-obsessed world of City, experiencing the all-too-real suffering of the homeless in Pier, or confronting the secrets of his own childhood, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye’s narrator is a hilarious, neurotic, and rage-filled Quixote searching for his mother, his own dignity, and the meaning of humanity.”

Tremblay, who lives outside of Boston, is the author of the novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. He has also authored the short story collections Compositions for the Young and Old and In the Mean Time, two novellas, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,  Five Chapters.com, and Best American Fantasy 3. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including Creatures: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan).

Check out Tremblay’s website by clicking here.

The reading starts at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at The Brown University Bookstore, which is located at 244 Thayer Street in Providence, RI  02912. The store’s phone number is  (401) 863-3168 if you have any questions.