The Nut File
by John Skoyles

Perfect Bound, $17.00
Publication Date: June 2017.
5 x 8 inches, 170 pages

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The Nut File captures a world desperately trying to make sense of itself, the frantic regions of lives lived, including that of the author, whose portrait is drawn by the selection and composition of the assembled stories. Comprised of original as well as appropriated material – obituaries, academic emails, private notes, micro-fictions, literary excerpts, weird memos, police logs, hard news, dear Johns and autobiographical confessions – the entries range from the absurd to the grave, from the ambiguous to the bombastic, from the ironic to the tragicomic. Patti Smith at Allen Ginsberg's deathbed, a portrait of the founder of One Finger Zen, a Joyce scholar gone mad, tabloid headlines announcing the deaths of Papa Wallenda and Brendan Behan, Chinese proverbs, stories of escaped murderers, cruel nuns and customer experiences at the Cuddle and Bubble spa on Valentine's Day are all glimpsed in The Nut File. Many voices speak throughout this collection: those of friends, relatives and strangers. Some stories and anecdotes come directly from Jimmy Cannon, Truman Capote, Harold Clurman, Isak Dinesen, Jim Harrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Georges Perec, and Mary Heaton Vorse, among others.

From The Nut File

I came home from school one day and told my Italian grandfather that we learned that Jesus performed miracles. He asked me to explain. I said that Jesus went to a wedding and changed water into wine. My grandfather thought for a moment and said, "It seems to me this miracle is worth nothing more than the price of a bottle of wine."...

Dear Professor:
Thank you again for the letter of recommendation. I was accepted into Jeju National University but found the school was not up to my expectations and I decided to unroll.
There were many reasons, some far worse than the troubles that sent me into philosophy. The smallest was a vibrant attack on a vending machine attributed to me but of which I am innocent. Hooligans urinated into the coin slot, dousing the money. I wasn't even nearby, but I was blamed.
After some time alone, I decided to apply to Utrecht University, in the Netherlands.
I ask you, if you could once again send a letter of recommendation. I will send a form that the Utrecht University requires. 
Your former student,

The new dean was introduced as someone who would humanize the sciences and simonize the humanities....

Some people need ideas which can be expressed only in words.

Though the events in this book bear similarity to those of that long malaise, my life, many of the characters and happenings are creations solely of the imagination.

Tell a story twice, it's fiction.

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