There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Bethesda native Richard Peabody, who made his reputation as an editor and poet rather than as a fiction writer, has finally published a collection of stories. Paraffin Days (Cumberland Press) resurrects the early-’80s scene at the 9:30 Club and Georgetown’s punk hangouts. But although the subject matter would seem to correlate with Peabody’s own experiences, he claims that “none of those stories are really autobiographical, except for the ones that deal with my father.” (His dad does inspire one of Paraffin‘s most thoughtful selections, “The Adaptation of Oysters,” in which a college student painting his father’s boat appraises the change in their relationship.) In addition to Paraffin, three more of Peabody’s efforts are being released: This eclectic trio includes his poetry volume Buoyancy and Other Myths (Gut Punch Press); Mondo Marilyn (St. Martin’s Press), a Marilyn Monroe version of Mondo Elvis and Mondo Barbie edited by Peabody and longtime collaborator Lucinda Ebersole; and Coming to Terms: A Literary Response to Abortion (New Press), in which Peabody and Ebersole excerpt fiction by such authors as Richard Brautigan, Joan Didion, and Gloria Naylor. Peabody says that Coming to Terms‘ publication had been delayed, but its topic is perenially controversial; the book’s January release dovetailed conveniently with violence at women’s clinics and Henry Foster’s nomination for Surgeon General. “Its funny that the same people who don’t want to intervene in the baseball issue want to restrict women’s rights,” the author/editor remarks.