This week’s published story is “Breaker” by Tommy Wallach. He is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His debut YA novel, We All Looked Up, came out in March, and is a NY Times Bestseller. He also made a soundtrack for his book… talk about multi-talented! It’s the story of a group of teens facing the life-changing possibility of an asteroid hurtling toward the Earth. Madness, I know, but Wallach manages to create beautifully complex and honest characters that makes the whole premise worth it. Trust me.
I came across Tommy Wallach’s writing after seeing him in a panel at the LA Times Festival of Books panel along with Aaron Hartzler, David Levithan, and Leila Sales. (Fellow Mugster, Taylor Ross joined me for a day brimming with all sorts of literary ear-candy!)
Anyway, I loved his debut novel We All Looked Up, and during the panel, he mentioned that he published a story in McSweeney’s that was one of his proud accomplishments. The story is very different from his YA novel. It’s brief, so go read it now!
Some questions to mull over while reading:
1) Does his use of repetition distract you or deepen your experience of the story? Or any other ways it affected you?
2) How does the repetition tie back to the idea of being a “breaker”?
3) How do you feel about how he addresses the reader at the beginning?
4) How do the gun shots and the broken condoms come together in the story?