Jim Gavin's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope, ZYZZYVA, and Slice magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.
This biography was last updated on 02/14/2013.
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The stories in your collection move from adolescence to middle age. Was this arc intended, and did you have a particular structure in mind when you began?
I didn't have a plan before I began writing any of these stories, but at some point I started thinking of them in terms of the old guild system, the movement from apprentice to journeyman to master. Many different jobs and pastimes are evoked, but the primary vocation here is life, and what it means to be a full person. The first three stories are apprentice tales. They are brighter and more overtly comic. The protagonists are naïve and vain and clueless about the grim realities surrounding them and the people in their lives. They are racing towards the future where all their dreams will come true. The next three stories are journeyman tales. In these, the mood grows darker. The protagonists have come of age, they know a little bit more about life; they've amassed various triumphs and failures but they've had to revise their sense of the future. They still don't know who they are, and what's waiting for them, and for the most part, they are just drifting along and holding on to their old dreams and vanities. The last story, "Costello," is ...
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