Hello mud­der

Pasatiempo - - In Other Words -

Hor­ror lit writer Brian Even­son has of­ten been com­pared to Franz Kafka and Edgar Al­lan Poe — nods to his abil­ity to craft grimly comic tales that burn with psy­cho­log­i­cal in­ten­sity and chill with graphic vi­o­lence. A prac­tic­ing Mor­mon, Even­son was forced to leave a teach­ing po­si­tion at Brigham Young Uni­ver­sity in 1995 over Alt­mann’s Tongue, his de­but book of short sto­ries, which a col­lege spokesman de­scribed as hav­ing “ex­treme, bru­tal, sadis­tic, and vi­o­lent de­pic­tions of vi­o­lence.” His ed­i­tor at Knopf, New York über-literati Gor­don Lish, came to his de­fense, claim­ing that Even­son “will pro­duce him­self as one of the ma­jor writ­ers of the 21st cen­tury.” Even­son went on to write “Mud­der Tongue,” pub­lished in McSweeney’s Quar­terly and an­thol­o­gized in The O. Henry Prize Sto­ries 2007, and

The Open Cur­tain, a 2006 novel that mines the mur­der­ous his­tory of the grand­son of Mor­mon prophet Brigham Young. Even­son has told in­ter­view­ers that the vi­o­lence in his books is nei­ther glam­orous nor gra­tu­itous but ex­ists to show how we as hu­mans par­tic­i­pate in the moral de­cline of the world. As Kline, the dis­mem­bered de­tec­tive pro­tag­o­nist of Even­son’s sur­real mys­tery novel Last Days, says, “Truth can­not be im­parted. It must be in­flicted.” On Thurs­day, March 25, Even­son, a Lan­nan Foun­da­tion writer in res­i­dence, gives a free read­ing at 7 p.m. at the LTC Au­di­to­rium at the In­sti­tute of Amer­i­can In­dian Arts, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, 424-2300.

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