Swimmers Club

The pioneers of aviation were never lonely

10th April 2017


Placeholder image

All images courtesy of the internet for purposes of commentary and criticism unless otherwise stated.

The Advanced Elvis Course by CA Conrad



Who: Isabel Waidner
Where: London, UK
What: Writer

Isabel Waidner chooses her seven:

CA Conrad, The Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull, 2009). CA Conrad's The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2009) is the better known book I guess, and the best example of queer white working-class US poetry I know ("when Frank was born/Father inspected the small package/the nurse handed him/'but where's my daughter's cunt? my daughter has no cunt!'/Mother leaned from the bed/'this is your awful son Dear/your son has no cunt'"). In contrast, The Advanced Elvis Course is a prose fiction which takes as its theme the I-protagonist's mystic-devotional (gay) investment in Elvis Presley the King, in the context of a similarly invested and often working-class community of fans. Via a series of pilgrimages to Graceland, Memphis, Conrad describes incidental encounters and exchanges between the protagonist and his fellow fans with generosity, humour, lack of judgement, and insight, inspiring "feats of great spiritual power" (to reference Kevin Killian's 5 star Amazon review) in readers. Read it it's affordable it's on Amazon I love this book.

Isabel Waidner is a writer and cultural theorist.  She is the author of three books of innovative fiction, most recently Gaudy Bauble (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2017), which is currently longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize for "hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose". Her articles and short fictions have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including 3:AM, Berfrois, Configurations, The Happy Hypocrite, The Quietus and Minor Literature[s]. She is also the editor of Liberating the Canon: An Anthology of Innovative Writing (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018) which explores the relationship between identity, intersectionality and innovation in literature. As part of the indie band Klang, Waidner released records on UK labels Rough Trade (2003) and Blast First (2004). She is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Roehampton University, London, UK.