I’m very pleased to have a new story, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” included in the online journal PANK‘s just-released Crime Issue. Chris Offutt may be the headlining name here, but some really fine folks are featured overall: Kyle Minor (a noir poem!), Anthony Neil Smith (with an excerpt from the work-in-progress The Baddest Ass), Keith Rawson, (whose story has some seriously unexpected twists), Aaron Morales (whose contribution, like mine, also structures itself on cooking), Frank Bill, and Eric Shonkwiler. Special thanks to the issue’s guest editor Brad Green and to PANK‘s co-editor Roxane Gay for including me. In his introduction to the issue, Green offers an overview of the works gathered here:
In these stories, you’ll find no midnight epiphanies in a parking lot about a relationship gone sour. Instead, you’ll encounter revenge, rape, murder gone wrong, power-positioning between rival gangs, sorry-ass selfish acts committed without regard for others and occasionally, like a flower finding its color in a parched landscape, compassion and hope. Of course, this is noir, so you know that flower won’t last.
Shifting metaphors: My own story, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” hopefully adds a delicious bit of its own yummy noir goodness into that mix. But perhaps needless to say, despite the story’s recipe structure and that word “delicious” in the previous sentence, don’t make this one at home. — Art Taylor