Lalia Lalami (Moorish Girl) writes a great new essay about the absence of the poor in recent fiction over at Powell's. What she says is very true. I grew up poor in 'middle America' and that's mostly what I write about (sometimes, as we've discussed, there are dead lesbians and spaceships). This all kind of ties in with the new story I've been working on (AKA the hardest f'ing story I've ever written), which deals with these themes. But with a dash of weird.
Got my copy of Best American Short Stories 2005 the other day. I'm absolutely in love with Dennis Lehane's story "Until Gwen." It's like the most perfect stories; they go right into your memory, as evisceral as a smell or a sound.