• Robin Martin
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Okay, first of all, I know the title would have to read, Anthony Marra, President Obama, and I  in order to be grammatically correct as a subject, as in Anthony Marra, President Obama and I have this book in common. Anthony Marra wrote this book, and the President and I are reading it. But if the sentence was, This piece is about Anthony Marra, President Obama, and me, (note the Oxford comma), then me in this case would be the object and it would be correct.  However, I also know that sometimes, a writer will intentionally choose a particular grammar to create a tone or a rhythm in the language of a piece and well, damnit, the holidays are upon us and I’m feeling punchy, so I say–go with me!

Now that that’s out of the way, this post is simple, really. My mother just gave me my first Christmas gift of the year, and it is Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. Last week, President Obama was spotted at the book store purchasing this book. It’s hot. Tony Marra was first published in Narrative Magazine in 2009. I’m proud to say I was one of his first readers in the submission queue. This is a smart smart young man and a talented writer.

Sadly, while on an assignment to interview him, I had a conversation with Tony that ranks up there as probably my most awkward interviewing moment, and I’ll probably never be able to completely let it go. I have no desire to drudge up the details, and at the 2012 Narrative Night asked for and received forgiveness from this super nice guy.  Oh, if I could do it over… (of course, now I’d be following Jacki Lyden and many others, like this.)

I can’t wait to read this novel, and in the new year, Marra’s collection of short stories (Hogarth).

Congratulations, Tony, on your success. Congratulations, Mr. President, perhaps we should be friends on Goodreads?

Author: Robin Martin
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