A story is read. Chinese New Year and James Frey are discussed.
"The Artists Pentaptych" [Read]
Publication in Lone Star Stories, December 2004
Nominated for the 2004 Fountain Award
Finalist in the 2004 NCSU Short-Short Story Contest
Komang looks on as her wares are pored over by the American tourists, as they pick through the fruits of her livelihood and determine whether she will eat this night. The American woman eyes an intricate scarf that took Komang the better part of a month to craft, running her thick indelicate fingers over the fabric, not truly appreciating the artistry that went into creating such a thing. Both the tourists reek of Western wealth and privilege, and Komang knows in her soul that they will be stingy in their purchases.
Hers is the skill of batik tulis, the artisan who works in fabric and wax. In her youth, royalty throughout the Middle East and Asia clamored for her designs. Her hand, from a very young age, was the most steady of any that had been seen in a hundred years. When she drew her canting over cotton or silk, she needed no charcoal guidelines, and her strokes and curves flowed like perfection. She would outline the leaves of bougainvillea, or trace scenes from The Ramayana, and her praises were sung throughout a dozen lands.
Chinese New Year at Wikipedia
Neomonde Bakery & Deli
Mythologism: Story Grenades Out of Words
"Author Is Kicked Out of Oprah Winfrey's Book Club" at The New York Times
"A Million Little Lies" at The Smoking Gun
"Frey in Hell" by Bill Shunn
"Arctic Monkeys" by Clare Dudman
Music by Cargo Cult
Listen (36:14) | Subscribe
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