A conversation with Brian Smith on the cover of the Tucson Weekly, plus Tucson Salvage Doc review - Tales and Recollections from La Frontera on the cover of Tucson
October 30, 2018
Why do you think that telling these stories is so important? Is it more important now in the age of Trump's America? Why?
My friend Dan Stuart, who penned the book's foreward, said it's about giving voice to the voiceless. That sounds really noble, man. At best I think I'm sort of diagramming certain subtleties and tensions of our existence. It's what I've always loved in fiction, in my favorite authors, from Truman Capote to Flannery O'Connor to Denis Johnson to Tom Wolfe.
If anything's "important," then it is telling stories that'd never be told otherwise. I'm far more in love with the mundanities of a working-class existence. Look closer and every one contains some life-altering event and tremendous sadness or tragedy. Sure, the woman at the methadone clinic cuts herself but she's still only recreating the beatings she received as a streetwalker, a career path for a girl horribly molested by her father. Yes, the state took her children. But she found love, and she's intelligent and she's in an apartment now and not homeless. Listen close and there's something that's universal. Maybe some personal truth rings out and we don't like it. That's the kind of cultural story I love, more than any other kind of personality driven piece.