Stephen Graham Jones: The Book I Would Like To Be Buried With…

The nineteenth entry in the Bury Me… series features US-based Stephen Graham Jones, author of Demon Theory among others, and by day Pro­fes­sor of Eng­lish at the Uni­ver­sity of Col­orado at Boulder.

King_IT“Just realizing that this is a completely different question than What book have you reread the most, or even What book is your favorite book, though I kept trying to read it that way. Since you asked, I’ve generated lists and lists, and consulted old lists, and it’s too painful to select just one, but at the same time I keep wanting to allow myself to cheat, just string ten or twenty together here, the same way you wallpaper your room with band posters when you’re fourteen, in hopes somebody’ll walk in, see how obviously cool you must be.

Or, really, I kind of gave up on an answer, was ducking the reminder I’d set to do this. But then, yesterday, I was writing the notes for this story collection I have coming out, and it hit me, or, I discovered it on the page, which is pretty much where I discover everything: It. Stephen King’s It.

That story’s still running in my head, is probably the most permanent piece of fiction I’ve ever read. The most influential, anyway, the one I’m just now seeing that I’ve always been trying to rewrite without getting caught. Because, even just looking at it on my shelf, that’s enough for me to see some chrome eyeballs rolling my way, sure, but the real magic of that story’s those kids, their dynamic, how they’re growing up together. With It, you get the horror but you also get the, I don’t know, the distinct sense of what it means to be human, and to keep trying to be human, even when the world’s failing all around you. A completely magical book for me, and I so appreciate the way it splits into all these distinct storylines but then comes back together. I mean, reading it, just remembering it, I know it’d be dangerous to be in that story, and it’s likely stupid to secretly want to be, but, just for the chance of gambling everything on that bike ride at the end, the chance of gambling and winning, it’s got to be worth it, yeah?  My heart’s pounding, even, writing this. Just thinking about that story again, about It.

I’m going to have to read it again now, soon. Need to get back to Derry for about a thousand pages.”


Stephen Graham JonesAbout Stephen Graham Jones:

Stephen Graham Jones has seven books out so far, two of them horror – Demon Theory and The Long Trial of Nolan Dugatti (the second a Shirley Jackson Award finalist) – and has two more horror novels on the horizon: The Ones That Almost Got Away, a collection of horror stories out with Prime Books in October, and It Came from Del Rio (Trapdoor Books), Book 1 of the Bunnyhead Chronicles.

Jones has been an NEA fellow, a Texas Writers League fellow, has won the Texas Insititute of Letters Fiction Award and the Independent Publishers Multicultural Award, and, in spite of all that Texas stuff, he now teaches in the MFA program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, assigning Jack Ketchum to his students every chance he gets. His next two courses are The Slasher and The Zombie.