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To celebrate the publication of Gordon Lish’s new fiction 'White Plains: Pieces & Witherlings' (Little Island Press, 2017), Hotel, Little Island Press, and Locomotrix co-hosted an evening of readings on and around the works of Gordon Lish. Chaired by David Winters, the program included readings from Claire-Louise Bennett, David Hayden, Will Eaves and a pre-recorded lecturette from Lish himself, broadcast exclusively on this occasion.

As fiction editor of Esquire from 1969 to 1977, then as an editor at Knopf and of The Quarterly until 1995, Gordon Lish has worked closely with many of the most daring writers of the past fifty years, including Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, Harold Brodkey, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo, Barry Hannah, Joy Williams, Anne Carson, Amy Hempel, Jack Gilbert and Ben Marcus. More than a dozen books have appeared under Lish’s own name – including the novels Dear Mr. Capote (1983), Peru (1986), and Zimzum (1993). These have won Lish a passionate cult following as a writer of recursive and often very funny prose.

Lish’s latest work of exquisitely crafted fiction, 'White Plains' sees a narrator – variously ‘Gordon!’, ‘I’, ‘He’ – approaching the precipice of old age. Against the backdrop of White Plains hospital, Lish skewers together memories of long-past infidelities and betrayals, on-going friendships, the death of his wife and the relative comfort of household chairs, to forge a series of interlinked hypnotic and consistently hilarious narratives. White Plains is Lish at his sharpest, tackling his perennial subject – the memory of memory itself – with spellbinding mastery.

Clockwise from top-left, Claire-Louise Bennett, Will Eaves, David Winters & David Hayden


Gordon Lish is well known as a friend to the masses.

Claire-Louise Bennett's short fiction and essays have been published in several publications including The Moth and The Irish Times. She received the inaugural White Review Short Story Prize in 2013. Her first book, Pond, was published in 2016.

David Hayden’s writing has appeared in gorse, The Yellow Nib, The Moth, The Stinging Fly, Spolia and The Warwick Review, and poetry in PN Review. He was shortlisted for the 25th RTÉ Francis MacManus Short Story prize. Born in Dublin, he has lived in the US and Australia and is now based in Norwich, UK, where he is currently working on a novel. He is managing director at Reaction Books and was previously publishing director at the Folio Society.

Will Eaves is a novelist and poet. His most recent novel, The Absent Therapist, was shortlisted for The Goldsmith’s Prize in 2014. A new collection of poetry and prose, The Inevitable Gift Shop is published by CB Editions. He teaches at the University of Warwick and lives in Brixton, London.

David Winters is Gordon Lish’s authorised biographer, and has published numerous essays on his far-reaching influence on American fiction. He has written criticism and journalism for Times Literary Supplement, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, The Independent, The White Review and The Literary Review, among others. He is co-editor in chief at 3:AM Magazine. A book-length collection of his writing, titled Infinite Fictions, was published by Zero Books in 2015.