Mark Katzman is the author of the novels Playdate, I Russian Bride, the artist books, INoN and Along the Way, and several plays. He is the editor of the Athens, Georgia-centric online zine, athensuncharted.com. He hosts Hargrett writers Circle, a monthly writer's group at the University of Georgia, at the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library. Prairie Fields, the first album from his group, BASIC, is available on ITunes. Listen to a few tracks: basic-music.tumblr.com. He lives in Athens, Georgia.
Describe your desk
My desk is an amalgam of meaningful clutter. To my right are 12 notebooks with material started (novels, memoir, random jottings) waiting forlornly for their continued existence. Some may make it, others not. I feel bad for them already. To my left a stack of books on Kafka recently checked out from the University of Georgia library. I will read about Kafka all of my life. Is there a more wondrous weirdo? Resting on the base of my lamp are momentous photos of my mother and father and sister, black and white, as well as a drawing my daughter did when she was very young of a girl skating in a humanly impossible posture which is perfect. There are two crystals and a candle. I don't necessarily believe that the crystals provide magical properties, but they sure are lovely. There are two small digital recorders that I use when conducting interviews. Finally, two tiny Chinese fortunes from meals long ago. "Faith is personal, but never private." "Never underestimate the power of the human touch."
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in St. Louis. I love the fact that these fellows were also born there. Chuck Berry, William Burroughs and T.S. Elliot.
True love or complete deception? Herewith 140 emails from Ivana - masseuse in a small hospital in Tair, Russia - to an older American man. Is either who they say they are? (is anybody who they say they are?) "I perish without your love to edge of a planet, Ivana."