The Roving Editor spends rather less time in New York than in North Yorkshire, so unfortunately I missed Deb Olin Unferth's event at the MercBar this week. If her readings are as entertaining as this YouTube clip suggests, it would have been well worth going along. Her phrasing and delivery of a story entitled 'Deb Olin Unferth' reminded me, weirdly, of Gil Scott Heron, though the content is uniquely (and literally) her own.
I heard of Deb Olin Unferth through Ron Hogan's always diverting blog, Beatrice, and discovered a few short pieces by her here, and here. The themes of theft and tourism seem to loom large in her work, and the sense of humour is bone-dry. I look forward to her debut novel, Vacation, though this doesn't appear to have been picked up by a UK publisher as yet.