Exhibit 25.9

Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever


Leaving a writers’ conference with a bag full of books can be more than a little disorienting, and choosing the first one to read on the plane home becomes an impossible task. Do you go with a literary journal for a sampling of work? A book by someone you know? Eschew them all and buy whatever book about boy wizards can be found at the airport? After hours spent contemplating this decisions while hotel maids vacuumed over my feet and another family checked into the room, I chose Taylor’s debut story collection, and, if I may say, I think I chose well.

Among many other fine qualities, Taylor’s book is a writer’s book, full of deft language and style. More than anyone else, the stories here remind me of Breece D’J Pancake. There’s a similar undercurrent of sadness and sense of powerlessness here, and as with Pancake there’s something particularly youthful in that listlessness. With less heart it would be trite or with more anger it would be cynical, but Taylor makes these young lives grand with language and humor.

Consider the beginning of the short short “Finding Myself:”

I keep finding myself in places I don’t expect me, such as outside churches, lurking, peering in their dooryards, or inside my own hollow skull, living a life to which the term hardscrabble might be astutely or ironically applied. Luckily, there are no ironists or astuticians around to subject me to application. It’s just me in here–I’m not even wearing socks.

The best stories here stay in this vein though I’d be doing the collection a disservice if I made it sound navel-gazing. There’s a lot going on in these stories, and Taylor’s not a writer afraid of plot. But at least when I finished the book sometime before my plane landed, what I appreciated most were the moments like the one above, when these smart, sensitive narrators weren’t passive but weren’t quite ready to take charge of the world either. Their author, however, doesn’t have such problems as throughout the collection each word seems dropped by a hand that knows exactly where it belongs.

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