Stay Awake: Stories, by Dan Chaon

Blogging for a Good Book

I started reading the title story in Dan Chaon’s dark and mesmerizing collection, Stay Awake, before going to sleep. I thought it was an interesting little story about a deformed baby with two heads. The parents had decided not to name each head, but only the “host” one, the one that might survive the inevitable and extremely risky surgery. The surgery would bring an end to whatever consciousness was in the “parasitic” head, which was capable of blinking and smiling and probably not much else, and may in fact kill Rosalie, the head that was more alert. I was tired and, frankly, looking forward to finishing the story and putting the book aside so I could sleep. When I got to the end of the story, and, with a jolt, understood what happened, I could not sleep. As befitted the title, I lay there awake, contemplating consciousness, thought, emotion…

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About G. D. Grace of California

After the release of his fifth self-published novel, “Ripped & Ready (season 3)” GD ramped up for a new endeavor in radio, and on September 2, 2010 his first #BlogTalkRadio show premiered. His first two guest were two literary colleagues from two different sides of the tracks — one a former prison inmate-hustler, single father, turned author — the other, an accredited teacher and single father first time author. The intense on-air climate of cultural differences on the show, at one point, became thick enough to slice with a butter knife, however, it was a very successful event. Despite the clash over marketing approaches both authors remained professional and the outcome was a highly entertaining and interesting show. The seasons that followed incorporated talent from all walks of creativity, so in addition to the authors, GD’s guest lineup included poets and recovering addicts, motivational speakers and entrepreneurs, filmmakers and professionals in sports training and health, and also established artists from highly successful television shows, as well as, NAACP & Grammy Winners. Many shows gave us an inside glimpse inside the lives of legends from Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Ray Goodman & Brown, Bruce A. Hawes (extraordinary writer for the Sounds of Philadelphia), Gerald Alston of The Manhattans, The Delphonics, Howard Hewett, and Chris Jasper of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized Isley Brothers. Legends of literary Stanley Bennett Clay and James Earl Hardy also brought their distinct creative prowess to the show, as did professionals from the Broadway stage. GD’s show eventually caught the attention of World Media and through this friendship many of the legends mentioned above were tapped to be guests on the show. His friend, and often times, mentor, Wayne Barros became an influential part of the legacy that he was creating one show at time. His friendship, love, and direction helped enforce an inner-confidence in GD which allowed him to stretch his producing skills so the show would have an entertaining variety for the live listener and archive listeners. Between the two audience variations the show has been listened to by over 40,000 people. It has been successful beyond GD’s wildest dreams, and as Season 6 approaches, the adrenalin within him increases. He begins assembling the guest list next month in April 2015, and…
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