Welcome to Late Night Conversation. This week Paul talks to Lysley Tenorio, whose debut story collection, Monstress, was published by Ecco in 2012. Late Night Library featured Monstress on Late Night Debut last July, and Lysley read at our In and Out of Town Reading Series with Leni Zumas in October.
Ecco describes Monstress as a luminous collection of heartbreaking, vivid, startling, and gloriously unique stories set amongst the Filipino-American communities of California and the Philippines. NPR wrote, “Tenorio, born in the Philippines and raised in California, has taken a uniquely Filipino-American perspective, polyglot and glittering with cinema dreams, and used it to make a bold collection of stories of the rejected, the helpless and the lost. Montress is the debut of a singular talent.”
Paul and Lysley talk about the editorial process, the Ecco Imprint, and the beauty of the strange and unusual.
I’ve always liked weird things. I like weird creatures. I like old illustrations of freaky things from nature. They really do possess a kind of alienness that inherently possesses a kind of beauty. —Lysley
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About our guest:
Lysley Tenorio’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Manoa, and The Best New American Voices and The Pushcart Prize anthologies. A winner of the Whiting Writer’s Award and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he has received fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Born in the Philippines, he currently lives in San Francisco and is an associate professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.