David Ryan and Rick Moody came together to discuss Ryan’s debut collection, Animals in Motion.
About Animals in Motion
A giant elk is trapped inside the yard of a family of teenaged boys while their tyrannical father gradually shrinks to the size of a doll. A World War II veteran living at a Laurel Canyon ranch in the late ‘60s faces the threat of changing times and a disturbing, soon to be famous, cult at the next ranch over. A former Olympic contender, after an injury leaves him with a glass eye, takes work as a security guard at the mansion of a ruthless CEO. A child who discovers the scene of a bizarre and unexplained crash in Roswell, New Mexico, fashions the rest of his life through the lens of what he found there. . . .
With language at turns diamond sharp and stone blunt, the thirteen stories of David Ryan’s dark and edgy debut, Animals in Motion, map the existence of their characters through the uncharted world of the psyche. The animals that mysteriously appear suggest a leveling, a weave of human experience with that of the natural world. A landscape alive in the space between thought and impulse, where present circumstances are ruled by memories of the past, and where conscious reality is trumped by greater truths of the imagination. Animals in Motion presents an often surreal yet consistently beautiful tapestry of American despair and hope.
David Ryan’s stories have appeared in Tin House, BOMB, Fence, several Mississippi Review Prize issues, Booth, Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, New Orleans Review, Cimarron Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, failbetter, and elsewhere. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, his fiction has been anthologized in Flash Fiction Forward (W.W. Norton); Boston Noir 2: the Classics (Akashic Books); and The Mississippi Review: 30 Years. A recipient of a MacDowell Colony fellowship and an arts grant from the state of Connecticut, he teaches in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. You can read more about him at www.davidwryan.com.
Rick Moody was born in New York City. He attended Brown and Columbia universities. His first novel, Garden State, was the winner of the 1991 Editor’s Choice Award from the Pushcart Press and was published in 1992. The Ice Storm was published in May 1994 by Little, Brown and Company. Foreign editions have been published in twenty countries. (A film version, directed by Ang Lee, was released by Fox Searchlight in 1997, and won best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival.) A collection of short fiction, The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven was also published by Little, Brown in August 1995. The title story was the winner of the 1994 Aga Khan Award from The Paris Review. Moody’s third novel, Purple America, was published in April 1997. Foreign editions have appeared widely. An anthology, edited with Darcey Steinke, Joyful Noise: The New Testament Revisited, also appeared in November 1997. In 1998, Moody received the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2000, he received a Guggenheim fellowship. In 2001, he published a collection of short fiction, Demonology, also published in Spain, France, Brazil, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. In May of 2002, Little, Brown and Company issued The Black Veil: A Memoir with Digressions, which was a winner of the NAMI/Ken Book Award, and the PEN Martha Albrand prize for excellence in the memoir. His novel The Diviners appeared in 2005, and won the Mary Shelley Award from the Media Ecology Association. That novel was followed by Right Livelihoods: Three Novellas in 2007. His new novel, The Four Fingers of Death, was published in 2010. His short fiction and journalism have been anthologized in Best American Stories 2001, Best American Essays 2004, Best American Essays 2008, Year’s Best Science Fiction #9, Year’s Best Fantasy, and, multiply, in the Pushcart Prize anthology. His radio pieces have appeared on The Next Big Thing, Re:Sound, Weekend America, Morning Edition, and at the Third Coast International Audio Festival. His album Rick Moody and One Ring Zero was released in 2004, and The Wingdale Community Singers, in which he plays and writes lyrics, have released two albums, the most recent of which is Spirit Duplicator (2009). He lives in Brooklyn, New York.