Contributor Spotlight: David Kranes

“A Figure in A Window,” a short story by David Kranes, appeared in Issue 13 and is available to read here.

Tell us a little about “A Figure in the Window.”

I have a previous book–novel? related  stories?–The Hunting Years, which features the central  painter/character of this story–Hunt.  His art seems to be good–but he makes life-choices that continually get him in trouble.  In trying to find a balance between domestic life and art, he seems to slip off the edge quite a bit.  There’s a second  yet-unpublished book about Hunt entitled Family Portrait.  “Figure” would be the last story probably in that volume.  I’d love to find a house eager for it.

What was the most difficult part of this story?

Capturing the tension between Hunt trying to “discard” his life and not be a burden to his sons and his need for closeness.  Trying to capture the complications of “distance” or the tension between distance and closeness.  In not wanting to be a problem, he is creating problems–for himself and others.

Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.

Book of mine?–The Legend’s Daughter.

Book by another?– H is for Hawk

If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be?

Could  we have 2 drinks?  3?  Way back, it would have been John Cheever.  After that….Jim Harrison (But I had a drink with Jim Harrison)  Now–?  Not exactly sure why I say this but….Mary Oliver.  We’d go to the Salt Lake Bird Refuge with something in a thermos and  bring Terry Tempest Williams along.  And her husband, Brooke

What are you working on now? What’s next?

I’ve just finished a 1st draft of a play-adaptation of Stephen Dobyns’ story “A Part of the Story.”  And I’ve just been hired to do a dramatic screen play.  I’ve a novel, abracadabra, coming out next Fall with the U. of Nevada press.  But I’m girding my loins to address the revisions my editor at Huntington Press (Nevada small press) will be asking me to do with a 20-year-novel-project, Crap Dealer–out in the Fall of 2018.  And I will take every opportunity to write in push-back opposition to the administration of the current Psychopath-and-Chief.

Our thanks to David for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read “A Figure in A Window” here:


David Kranes is a writer of seven novels and three volumes of short stories—most recently, (novel) Making The Ghost Dance (2005) and (stories) The Legend’s Daughter (2013). His 2001 novel, The National Tree, was made into a film by Hallmark, which aired in November, 2009. His short fiction (appearing in such magazines as Esquire, Ploughshares, Transatlantic Review) has won literary prizes and has been anthologized. Over 40 of his plays have been performed in New York and across the U.S. (in theaters such as The Actors’ Theater of Louisville, The Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theater Club, Cincinatti’s Playhouse in the Park), and his Selected Plays was published in 2010. His most recent theater venture was contributing a play to an evening (with the prompt of “bravery”) of six short plays—3 by American playwrights; 3 by Iraqui playwrights. His play, A Loss of Appetite was performed (with an honoring of his body of work) at Salt Lake Acting Company in April, 2014. He has written for radio, film and for dance companies. The opera, Orpheus Lex, for which he wrote the libretto, was performed at New York City’s Symphony Space in February of 2010 and again, recently, in Salt Lake. For 14 years, he directed the Playwrights’ Lab at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. In 2015, he was asked to recreate a national-in-scope version of this Playwright’s Lab for Salt Lake Acting Company. The SLAC Playwrights’ Lab has been a resounding success. Two new novels, abracadabra and Crap Dealer will appear in 2017 and 2018. Mr. Kranes is an award-recognized mentor and continues mentoring whenever and wherever he can (most recently, in Provence, France).