Up until yesterday, I was working feverishly on an ambitious online fictional autobiography called A Brief Survey of Contemporary Fiction, Literature, Prize Winning & Award Winning Books, Famous Authors, Novels, Short Stories, Poetry, Reviews, Periodicals, Diaries, Letters, Journals, Banned Books, Imprisoned Writers, Literary & Artistic Schools, Movements & Manifestos, Short Biographies, Summaries, Criticism, Notes, Opinions, Reading Lists, Essays, Discussions, Forums, Links & other Information of Interest to Bibliophiles and the Common Man. Trouble is, I bit off more than I can chew. My original plan was to write the story of my life as it could have happened had my life been interesting, and then present it alongside a wealth of literary information gleaned (i.e., stolen) from hundreds if not thousands of reliable Internet sources. What I quickly learned, however, is that stealing is hard work � much harder, even, than writing, which, now that I think of it, is a lot like stealing from oneself. Anyway. Suffice it to say, I quit. But to show you what I was up against (myself) and that my intentions were good, I�ve included my Author�s Note below, and as much of the first chapter as I was able to complete. To save space, I am leaving out the stolen information about banned and controversial books and contemporary authors that came in between, even though it is by far the most interesting part.

Author�s Note
I am Jack Kerouac, Walt Whitman, and William Saroyan, and there is no earthly reason to expect that I will survive either this burden or this work. I am Mahatma Ghandi, and I smoke Churchill�s cigars. Stephen King is my gardener. He pulls words out of my child�s garden of verse for a living and, as usual, misses the point entirely. We are friends, two optical illusions are we, nonchalant in our casual hatred of one another, though in reality we have never met. Reality! That trite yet painful concept! I am Don Quixote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Balzac�s butler. I am an encyclopedia of frustrated authors who yearn to appear in the New York Times Book Review and want to have their pictures taken by Richard Avedon. Is he still alive? Who knows? Who cares? I wouldn�t know him if I saw him � although I�d probably recognize him as a mutual relative tied to the first monkey. I am Truman Capote, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Longfellow, Coleridge, and Hawthorne. Together we drop in on Edgar Allan Poe, hoping against hope that he�ll straighten out someday. Not that it matters. The real significance lies in � well, suffice it to say the real significance lies. But I am not Hemingway. I simply refuse to be Hemingway, the bullfighter, or Faulkner, the pipe-smoking Southerner, or Steinbeck, the epic journalist of Salinas, California � though I could be Holden Caulfield, like so many other of the naked and the dead who want to be lord of the flies or to kill a mockingbird until they catch 22 of them and put the poor folk on display where the sun also rises, which is seldom the destination of most literary fiction. I do wish I was Mark Twain, but I�d be willing to settle for Studs Terkel, H.L. Mencken, Mike Royko, or even Abraham Lincoln. Good old Abe. Imagine � a president capable of writing his own speeches.

(Interesting Stolen Information Here)

Chapter 1
I should begin with what Jane Smiley, Dean Koontz, and Tom Clancy once told me over coffee in 1984, but I won�t, because Dave Barry and Amy Tan laughed at me several years later when I brought up Franz Kafka before a concert given by the Rock Bottom Remainders. They were fine up until the show, even a little smug, both of them having appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The London Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly � as did Hunter S. Thompson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Michael Crichton. Then I noticed a sudden metamorphosis. This really bugged me. It was not only a tale of two cities, but many more. There were even a few Dubliners involved. �Ah-ha!� I said. �If only I could show you a portrait of the artist as a young man � then you would realize what fools you are.� Then the lights went down and the Rock Bottom Remainders took the stage � I mean literally, right out into the alley. . . .

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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