Shane Jones (author)
|Born||February 22, 1980|
Albany, New York
|Occupation||Novelist, writer, essayist, poet|
|Genre||Literary fiction, poetry, magical realism, minimalism|
|Notable works||Light Boxes|
Shane Jones (born February 22, 1980) is an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He has published three novels, two books of poetry, and one novella.
Shane Jones was born in Albany, New York. He graduated from SUNY Buffalo in 2004 with a B.A. in English. As of May 2015, Jones is represented by the literary agency Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. He was a student in Lydia Davis's fiction workshop taught at the NYS Writers Institute.
Jones's novels have received mixed reviews and little attention from mainstream venues. On June 3, 2010, Bookforum, in a positive review, wrote: "Light Boxes is absurd, cryptic, and often bizarre, but if you're willing to roll with it, all is made clear by the end (and is quite satisfying). This book is not for everyone – but that, of course, is one of its virtues." That same day, The A.V. Club said, "Jones suffers from seasonal depression, and while his depiction of a town where February lasts all year benefits from his real feelings of dread, its greatest weakness is going too far into autobiography." Later in the same month, writing in The Guardian, critic Steven Poole wrote: "In its pre-industrial surrealism, the world here at first resembles slightly that of Ben Marcus...But Jones's is a saccharine version of the style, too concerned to be pretty or childlike (with its owls and teacups and mint leaves) to provoke any real aesthetic shock within a single sentence." Booklist said, "This literary gem of metaphysical malaise has that ideally weird blend of offputting sensualism and heartfelt emotion – just the sort of thing to ensure a dedicated, if limited, following." BlackBook said, "This slim and absorbing novel reads like a bedtime story that your mother forgot to tell you, and it announces Jones as a stunning new literary voice."
In July 2012, W Magazine wrote positively about Jones's second novel (published July 31, 2012) Daniel Fights a Hurricane: "A surreal and playful postmodern fable about an epic struggle against a villainous force-of-nature, with a surprisingly human love story of intriguing complexity." Later in the year, Paste Magazine praised the novel in a 9.0 rating (out of 10.0), writing: "Unhinged or sane, grieving or resolute, the Suppletons represent a kind of hero seldom seen in today’s texts. We’ve been missing them." Publishers Weekly, in a negative review, wrote: "Admirers of Italo Calvino and Richard Brautigan will appreciate Jones's sensibility, but an unsatisfying surreal conclusion keeps the work from achieving its full potential."
Jones's most recent novel, Crystal Eaters, was released on June 9, 2014. On February 4, 2014, Buzzfeed Books listed Crystal Eaters as one of the most highly anticipated books of the year. Publishers Weekly, in a negative review published on April 29, 2014, wrote: "Jones recreates a mythical and hallucinatory experience of a family fighting mortality...But, ultimately, undeveloped characters, excessive ungrounded tangents, and general disorganization obscure a lovely premise."
Crystal Eaters received attention from a variety of magazines and websites, including: The Paris Review, Time Out New York, VICE, The Believer, Full Stop, The L Magazine, The Rumpus, American Book Review, Numero Cinq, Bookslut, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Electric Literature, Impose Magazine, and Vanity Fair. Flavorwire included Crystal Eaters on several lists, including: 10 Must Read Books of July, The 50 Best Genre-Bending Books, 50 Excellent Fabulist Books Everyone Should Read, and as a Best Book of the Year. The now defunct literary journal HTMLGIANT, of which Jones was an original contributor, ran an unprecedented four positive reviews of the novel between April 14, 2014, and September 16, 2014. Rebecca Rubenstin, the former interviews editor for The Rumpus, and editor-in-chief of Midnight Breakfast, wrote: "Crystal Eaters is dreamlike and devastating, with language that affixes itself to your bones and won’t let go, even long after you’ve finished. I can’t recommend it more highly."
On July 21, 2014, an essay by Lee Klein published by 3:AM Magazine implied that Crystal Eaters had received positive attention because of "literary citizenship," sparking an online debate regarding how authors review each other and a lengthy response the following day from Edward Champion of The Bat Segundo Show, who wrote, "Jones is a smart and imaginative writer," while deeply criticizing Klein who said, regarding Crystal Eaters, "I probably would've preferred if I didn't often catch myself zoning out and then backtracking to identify the sentence or passage that triggered the zone out. The language often seemed rushed and like it strived for a style that required rereading and translation."
Film and theater adaptation
In August 2009, Jones sold the film option to his first novel, Light Boxes, to Spike Jonze, with speculations that Ray Tintori would direct. However, Spike Jonze, in an interview with Times Online, said that Tintori was no longer a director for the project. In an interview with Interview Magazine in June 2010, Jones (author) said the film option had been dropped.
Light Boxes was originally published in a small run of 500 to 600 copies by Publishing Genius Press. After the securing of the rights by Jonze, and subsequent pickup by William Morris Agency, the novel was reissued by Penguin Books and sold to publishing houses across Europe.
On April 1, 2010, author Salvador Plascencia, in an interview with Nashville Review, stated: "Light Boxes freeloads off and piggybacks on the work of The People of Paper and does so without any formal acknowledgement. And, in many ways, unless you want to buy some hackneyed and anachronistic surrealist defense, it's a novella dependent on The People of Paper to make any real sense."
Jones detailed his experiencing of being accused of plagiarism in an essay published at VICE on October 8, 2013, where he implied that the film adaptation by Spike Jonze had been dropped because of Plascencia's plagiarism accusation.
- Light Boxes, Publishing Genius Press, 2009; reissue Penguin Books, 2010.
- Daniel Fights a Hurricane, Penguin Books, 2012.
- Crystal Eaters, Two Dollar Radio, 2014.
- A Cake Appeared, Scrambler Books, 2010.
- Paper Champion, with illustrations by John Dermot Woods. Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2014.
- The Failure Six, Fugue State Press, 2010.
- I Will Unfold You with My Hairy Hands, The Greying Ghost, 2008.
- Vidal, Christine. UB Students Win Poetry Prizes, April 30, 2002, UB News.
- Jones, Shane. "Taking a Class with Lydia Davis" September 4, 2014 Fanzine.
- Ciuraru, Carmela. Light Boxes by Shane Jones June 3, 2010, Bookforum.
- Nelson, Samantha. Light Boxes Review June 3, 2010, The A.V. Club.
- Poole, Steven. Light Boxes, Book Review. June 18, 2010, The Guardian.
- Chipman, Ian. Booklist Review Amazon.com.
- Donnelly, Elisabeth. Light Boxes Author Shane Jones On Why He Hates February July 2, 2010, Blackbook.
- Crair, Ben. Wow. Rivka Galchen Really, Really Loved Your Novel! August 6, 2013, The New Republic.
- Syme, Rachel. Weird And Wonderful Books: 2010's Hidden Gems December 21, 2010, NPR Books.
- Zhong, Fan. Page Turner: Daniel Fights a Hurricane July 2012, W Magazine.
- Straub, Laura. Daniel Fights A Hurricane, Book Review September 4, 2012, Paste Magazine.
- Fiction Book Review: Daniel Fights A Hurricane by Shane Jones, Penguin, $14 Trade paper (224pg) Publishersweekly.com.
- Thomas, Richard. 15 Highly Anticipated Books From Mostly Small Press February 4, 2014, Buzzfeed.com.
- Fiction Book Review: Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones, Two Dollar Radio, $16 Trade paper (184pg) Publishersweekly.com
- van den Berg, Laura. Red Giant: An Interview with Shane Jones June 18, 2014, The Paris Review.
- Gibert, Tiffany. Author Shane Jones opens up about death and his dark new novel June 18, 2014, TimeOut New York.
- Butler, Blake. How Many Crystals Do You Have Left Inside You? June 4, 2014, VICE.com
- Bennett, Hayden. "We Need A Fantasy In Order To Live In Reality" June 26, 2014, The Believer Logger.com.
- Gold, Eleanor. Crystal Eaters – Shane Jones July 1, 2014, full-stop.net.
- Embury, Sabra. Cheating Death, At a Cost: Crystal Eaters July 2, 2014, The L Magazine.com.
- Graham, Oliver. Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones April 14, 2014, The Rumpus.com.
- Compton, Sheldon. Gray Lines Between Myth and Truth: A Review of Shane Jones's Crystal Eaters[permanent dead link] July/August 2014.
- Ennis, Sebastian. Beautiful Distractions: A Review of Shane Jones' Crystal Eaters August 8, 2014, numerocinqmagazine.com.
- Partinghton, Heather. Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones June 2014, Bookslut.com.
- Thomas, Kevin. A Phase-Shifted Reflection, Kevin Thomas On Crystal Eaters January 3, 2015, LARB.
- Yoder, Anne. Alternative Routes: A Summer Reading Itinerary June 25, 2014, Themillions.com.
- Gallaway, Matthew. REVIEW: Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones June 30, 2014, electricliterature.com.
- Kaplan, Jacob. We Drove to Albany to Talk to Novelist Shane Jones About Writing July 3, 2014, imposemagazine.com.
- Jones, Nicole. Catherine Lacey's Nobody Is Ever Missing Is The New Gone Girl September 2014, vanityfair.com.
- Diamond, Jason. 10 Must Read Books For July July 1, 2014, flavorwire.com.
- Temple, Emily. The 50 Best Genre Bending Books April 8, 2015, flavorwire.com.
- Temple, Emily. Best Fabulist Books July 16, 2014, flavorwire.com.
- Sturgeon, Jonathan. 2014's Best Indie Fiction and Poetry Books November 21, 2014, flavorwire.com.
- Authors, Multiple. Four Reviews of Crystal Eaters April 2014 – September 2014.
- Rubenstein, Rebecca. Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones July 2014, midnightbreakfast.com.
- Klein, Lee. Literary Citizenship Depletes Crystal Count and Other Controversial Claims July 21, 2014, 3:AM Magazine.
- Champion, Edward. On the Cowardice of Literary Omphaloskepsis July 22, 2014, edrants.com.
- Empire Online, Spike Jonze Picks Up Light Boxes, July 28, 2009
- van den Berg, Laura. Shedding Light on Shane Jones Summer 2010, Interviewmagazine.com.
- Light Boxes: A Feature Film by Ellen Frances
- Light Boxes our new show for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 at Summerhall gridiron.org.uk.
- Nashville Review Editor An Interview with Salvador Plascencia April 1, 2010
- Jones, Shane. Now That Dave Eggers Has Been Accused of Plagiarism We Finally Have Something in Common October 8, 2013, VICE.com.