Wednesday, November 20, 2019


JP Gritton’s awards include a Cynthia Woods Mitchell fellowship, a DisQuiet fellowship and the Donald Barthelme prize in fiction. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Greensboro Review, New Ohio Review, Southwest Review, Tin House and elsewhere. His translations of the fiction of Brazilian writer Cidinha da Silva are forthcoming in InTranslation.

Gritton applied the Page 69 Test to Wyoming, his first novel, and reported the following:
The top of page 69 reads, “I think I must’ve half wanted it to go south.” Shelley Cooper, the construction-worker-by-day/drug-runner-by-night who narrates my novel Wyoming, has just invited a lady of the evening to join him in his hotel room. In some ways, this invitation is exactly what the book is about: the manner by which we subconsciously participate in the disasters of our lives.

Before this point, Shelley’s progress through the book has been a series of dumb ideas. He steals an air compressor (dumb idea). Later, to help his best friend pay for chemotherapy treatments, Shelley agrees to drive fifty pounds of Colorado high-grade down to Houston (dumb idea). He has some dumb ideas about the money he gets for his trouble, which comes padlocked in a stainless-steel briefcase.

There isn’t a lot of me in Shelley, but this much we have in common: sometimes I get the feeling that I am the casual viewer of a TV show about self-sabotage. Bad idea, I’ll think. Don’t do it! And then?

The next line reads, “I smiled to watch her blow inside—this time I hadn’t bothered fastening the chain—smiled even if there was a sweet sad voice in my head, ringing like a bell: You will regret this, it went, you will regret this, you will regret this.”
Visit JP Gritton's website.

My Book, The Movie: Wyoming.

--Marshal Zeringue