Literature Program

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.


UB English Dept. & Hallwalls present

Exhibit X Fiction: Lance Olsen

Photo credit: Andi Olsen.

The 15th Season of Exhibit X Fiction

A return visit by Lance Olsen kicks off the 15th season of Exhibit X Fiction, the innovative fiction reading series launched back in October 2003. Since Olsen last read in March 2006—in conjunction with the critical symposium on Samuel R. Delaney—he has published seven books: Nietzsche's Kisses (Fiction Collective Two, 2006), Anxious Pleasures: A Novel After Kafka (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2007), Head in Flames (Chiasmus Press, 2009), Calendar of Regrets (Fiction Collective Two, 2010), Theories of Forgetting (Fiction Collective Two, 2014), There's No Place Like Time: A Retrospective (&Now Books, 2016), and this year's Dreamlives of Debris (Dzanc Books, April 4, 2017), a "twisted reimagining of Theseus and the Minotaur."

"Dreamlives of Debris is a hybrid retelling of the Theseus and Minotaur myth. Here the Minotaur is a little deformed girl—she calls herself Debris—hidden away from public view in the labyrinth beneath Knossos. She possesses the ability to hear the flood of thoughts and see the flood of memories, desires, and futures of others throughout history from Herodotus and Pliny to Borges and Edward Snowden. Her labyrinth takes the form of an impossible liquid architecture bearing no center and hence no discernible perimeter. Dreamlives of Debris explores such impossible architecture as a way of knowing—an extended metaphor for our current sense of lived experience: the feeling, for instance, of being awash in massive, networked data fields that may lead everywhere and nowhere at once. The lyrical narrative takes the form of a collage composed of multiple voices and genres from multiple time periods."

Lance Olsen is author of more than 25 books in all of and about innovative writing. His short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, such as Conjunctions, Black Warrior Review, Fiction International, Village Voice, BOMB, McSweeney's, and Best American Non-Required Reading. A Guggenheim, Berlin Prize, D.A.A.D. Artist-in-Berlin Residency, N.E.A. Fellowship, and Pushcart Prize recipient, as well as a Fulbright Scholar, he teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah and serves as chair of the Board of Directors at the independent press Fiction Collective Two, currently in its 43rd year of making fiction making trouble.