Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TCR Story of the Month for February: "Arab Spring" by Joseph Giordano

Joseph Giordano
The Committee Room is pleased to offer "Arab Spring" by Joseph Giordano as TCR Story of the Month for February. Using evocative detail and a firm sense of history, "Arab Spring" tells the story of an honest man doing business in a culture where political corruption is a centuries old practice.  

Joseph Giordano is a Texas-based writer whose work has appeared in more than thirty magazines including Bartleby Snopes, The Foliate Oak, and The Summerset Review.

"Arab Spring" was published in Newfound (Fall 2013).

To read "Arab Spring" click here

TCR Story of the Month highlights an outstanding work of short fiction published online within the preceding twelve months.

TCR Interviews Author Joseph Giordano

Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I was turned on to writing short stories when I took a Creative Writing course from Ben Fountain at the University of Texas in 2009. Ben wrote the acclaimed novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. I received hundreds of rejections until my first piece was accepted two years ago. Since then over forty of my stories have been placed. I’ve just completed a novel, The Sour Smell of Pain. Immigration is a hot topic and the book explores the Italian experience through two Neapolitan young men who immigrate to New York in 1905. One has committed murder and escapes. The other seeks his fortune. They tangle with the exploitative New York padroni labor system, grifters, Tammany Hall politicians, a hostile longshoreman’s union, the Camorra clans, “Black Hand” extortion, and the “Tombs” jail. The two men turn out to be half-brothers. They love the same woman. I’m in the process of looking for an agent to help me market the novel.

Q: Where did you get the idea for "Arab Spring?"
A: In the late 1980s I was 3M’s Managing Director for Greece, Turkey and the Middle East from Malta to the Emirates. Egypt was a market I wanted to develop. So like Dimitri in the story, I traveled there extensively and met a large number of interesting locals. The Egyptian people were a delight to work with, and I’ve watched the recent turmoil with sadness. Newfound’s fiction editor, Juancarlos Feliciano, was instrumental in helping me hammer "Arab Spring" into its final form.

Q: Who are some of your favorite classic authors?
A: Homer, Ovid and Dante. I’ve read hundreds of short stories to improve my craft. Anton Chekhov, Guy de Maupassant and Saki come to mind.

Q: Who are some of your favorite contemporary authors?
A: Ben Fountain, of course. James Salter, Richard Yates, Alice Munro and Cormac McCarthy.

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