Pasatiempo - - In Other Words -

Oh, good Shep­ard Sam Shep­ard’s lat­est work — the short­story col­lec­tion Day Out of Days (Al­fred A. Knopf) — could just as well be sub­ti­tled “Re­flec­tions of a Wan­derer Out West.” It came out in hard­cover around the first of the year and is now avail­able in pa­per­back. The book’s very brief tales (some are just a para­graph long) would work well as one-act plays or short films, and you’d surely en­joy some­one read­ing a few of them to you. Shep­ard him­self does just that when he takes part in Gar­cia Street Books’ Meet the Author se­ries. Shep­ard ap­pears at 5 p.m. Thurs­day, Sept. 23, at the Inn and Spa at Loretto, 211 Old Santa Fe Trail. Ad­mis­sion is free, but seat­ing is limited, and there will be a cash bar. You may want to pour your­self a stiff one af­ter hear­ing some of these tales, which in­cor­po­rate hu­mor, sur­re­al­ism, theater (a few of the pieces are sim­ply bits of di­a­logue de­liv­ered among char­ac­ters), horror (a de­cap­i­tated head reap­pears through­out the sto­ries), and sex. In all of them, char­ac­ters long for a sense of place even as they re­ject the no­tion of set­tling down in one spot. These sto­ries may be weird, but they’ll make you think, and some of them are laugh-out-loud funny, such as the saga of the two fel­lows who some­how save Fats Domino (and his pi­ano) from the rag­ing wa­ters of a Ka­t­rina-flooded New Or­leans.

The Meet the Author se­ries con­tin­ues into next year; for de­tails, call 986-0151 or visit www.gar­ci­as­treet­

—Robert Nott

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