“The Peyote Factory” Short Story on Akashic Books

Today, my short story “The Peyote Factory” inaugurates Akashic Book’s “Thursdaze” Check it out on the Akashic Books Website.         The Peyote Factory By Jonathan Santlofer I always told myself that I’d never use anything stronger than pot. I was a middle-class kid away from home, at NYU for my second year of art school, and hard drugs scared the shit out of me. But pot, I loved it. I smoked in the morning, afternoon, and night. I’d go to school stoned, paint stoned, fuck stoned. It was 1970 and I was living on Avenue C. It looked like the set for an end-of-the-world movie: deserted tenements, bums, hustlers, junkies, and pushers on every corner. I thought I was cool. Read more…

“Talking Images” Panel Discussion – Tang Museum of Art – Skidmore College

“Talking Images” – Panel Discussion: Words in a work of art and the power of a word to create an image in writing. Where: The Tang Museum 815 North Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY – Part of Skidmore College Summer Program When: July 18, Reception 5:30-6:00, Discussion: 6-7:30pm Panelists: Jonathan Santlofer, Rick Moody, April Bernard, James Esber Narrated by Tang Museum Director, Ian Berry.

Book Q&A’s with Deborah Kalb

This is an excerpt of my interview with Deborah Kalb on her great blog Book Q&A’s. Q: How did The Marijuana Chronicles come about, and how did you determine which authors to include in the collection? A: That’s a two-part question, Deborah. The first part is easy. I was at a book party and was talking to Johnny Temple, the publisher of Akashic Books, and he mentioned that he was looking for an editor to do The Marijuana Chronicles, the third in his ongoing drug series. I immediately said I was interested. Not because I’m a pothead – I’m not – but I thought it would be a great project, obviously topical and that it would be fun to do, all of which turned out to be true. Read more…

Book Talk Interview with Kory French – Break Thru Radio

Here is a recent interview I did on Break Thru Radio with Kory French. The 1st half is about “me” and the 2nd half about THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES. I thought is was going to be all about the book so I was a little unprepared for the personal questions but I did my best. The show has a long musical Intro and then another at the midpoint but you can skip past them. And you may have to hit “DJ Kory” when you get to the site. But have a listen and let me know what you think. Listen here: [audio:http://bak.jonathansantlofer.com/wp-content/uploads/book_talk_with_kory_french.mp3]

City Mouse Versus Country Mouse

I have always been a city mouse. Well, not always, but mostly. I was born on East 57th Street in Manhattan though my parents deserted the city for Queens and then LI when I was a preteen, but I couldn’t wait to get back. And I did. But then, like so many diehard New Yorkers I longed for escape, which I did on occasion and liked that too but always came back. I think mostly it was a quest for quiet, a rarity in NYC, and something I found when I bought a little house in upstate NY about eight years ago. An impulse buy. I swear. It was just after New Years and we were visiting old friends, the realist painter Catherine Murphy and her sculptor husband, Harry Roseman. I’ve known Cathy since we met at the art colony, Skowhegan, when I was 19. (Cathy says I looked like John Sebastian of the Lovin’ … Read more

Why Crime Fiction Academy Matters

About a year and a half ago Noreen Tomassi, the Director of Manhattan’s Center For Fiction, came to me with the idea of creating a place for crime fiction. A place where unpublished writers could come to finish the crime novel they’d started but stalled, where writers could be taught by really good published authors, could sit around a table with the best crime fiction writers of our time, people like Lee Child and Elmore Leonard and Laura Lippman, to name just a few, and a place to study and learn from classics in the genre. We did it because no program like it existed. There are writing programs everywhere, but not one that concentrates on crime fiction. In fact, few writing programs offer students even one class in crime fiction (and to those students I say, come take your classes at CFA and we’ll find a way to work it out with your school). … Read more

My Performance at THE MOTH – Blue in the Face: Stories About Smoke

Back by popular demand (I think) is the story I performed for The Moth almost 10 years ago. Time flies and flutters like moths. If you don’t know The Moth it’s an amazing not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling that has been in existence since 1997. They recruited me to tell my story, a true one,  part of a theme, “Blue in the Face: Stories About Smoke.” Though the Moth works with you and rehearses you, I was still incredibly nervous though I hope it doesn’t show in this video.  

The Marijuana Chronicles Launch at St. Mark’s Bookstore

The launch for THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES is just around the corner. (Why does that sound like you’re meeting your dealer?) How about… The launch is in the bag? Or… The launch will be a mellow affair. OK, I’ll stop. But come. Details are in the link but to recap: What: Marijuana Chronicles Launch Party When: June 25th, 7pm Where: St. Mark’s Bookshop, 31 Third Ave. (East Village) Many of the contributors will be there. Come meet Lee Child, Linda Yablonsky, Amanda Stern, me, and several others. Bring your friends, your family, your pot-smoking uncle and stoned nephew. Get a book signed by all of us then go down the block and get a tattoo, or just hang out (the store is open till midnight). With THE MARIJUANA CHRONICLES tucked under your arm your cool quotient has just gone up so who knows who you might meet. No question it’s going to an interesting night. http://www.akashicbooks.com/events/the-marijuana-chronicles-st-marks-bookshop-new-york-ny/ … Read more

The Plight of Crime Fiction Or Why Crime Fiction Writers Always Feel Bad

People often ask me why I choose to write crime fiction and I say it’s because it encompasses all the big human emotions – love, hate, greed, revenge, fear — as well as the basic moral questions of good and evil, and that’s more than enough for me. When people say, “I don’t read crime fiction at all,” as if they would not deign to waste their time or intelligence on something so trivial and clearly beneath them (it’s interesting to note that they have no problem saying this to me, a crime fiction writer), I say, “So, you’ve never read Crime & Punishment or An American Tragedy or Lolita or Poe or Chandler or Hammett or contemporary novels like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History or Richard Ford’s Canada or almost anything by Joyce Carol Oates, the “literary” list of crime fiction novels goes on and on. Frankly, I’m hard pressed to think of a … Read more

The Kiss Print Series – A New Edition of Artwork

I have a 8 piece series of prints titled “Kiss”.  They have been produced in editions of 40 each.  Contact me if you are interested in purchasing a set. You can view the prints here: “Marilyn and Elvis” “Picasso/Brancusi” “Superman/Lichtenstein “Times Square Rodin” “Couples” “Courbet/Eternity” “Desire” “Liz and Monty/Brokeback”