Mindt, Alex

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Mindt, Alex

PERSONAL:

Married; children: two. Education: Attended Carnegie Mellon University; University of Iowa, B.A., 1991; Columbia University, M.F.A., 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New York, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Gotham Writer's Workshop, New York, NY, teacher. Has worked at numerous jobs, including teacher, salesman, carpenter, nanny, truck driver, social worker, strawberry picker, mason's assistant, and professional gambler.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Pushcart Prize, 2006, for short story "Sabor a Mi."

WRITINGS:

Male of the Species (short stories), Delphinium Books (Harrison, NY), 2007.

Cowriter, and director and producer, of feature film Nowheresville. Contributor to periodicals, including Missouri Review, Fiction, Confrontation, Literary Review, and The Sun.

SIDELIGHTS:

Alex Mindt's first book of short stories, Male of the Species, focuses on a wide variety of male characters and their relationships with their families. Reviewers appreciated the diversity in the book, with stories set in all regions of the United States and featuring such characters as an elderly Hispanic man, a middle-class African American dentist with a teenage son who uses confrontational art to express his alienation and anger, a father taking his son on his first hunting trip, and a Vietnamese boatperson who becomes an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas.

Male of the Species includes the Pushcart Award-winning story, "Sabor a Mi," in which an elderly Hispanic man journeys to New Mexico for his daughter's second wedding, musing along the way about how his children have acclimated to American ways. Particularly unsettling for him is the fact that his daughter is marrying another woman—a detail he is too embarrassed to divulge to his driver. Instead, he lies and pretends that he is on his way to a funeral. In "An Artist at Work," Russell, an African American dentist, doesn't know what to do when his adolescent son, Anthony, starts creating art works that include burning a cross on the family's suburban front lawn. An adult son must come to terms with his violently psychotic father in "Free Spirits." "Reception" describes a scenario in which a son, trying to interest his widowed father in a neighbor who has been recently divorced, forges notes between them. In the title story, a science teacher in West Texas confronts a dilemma when the school's star quarterback gets failing grades. Should he flunk the student, or succumb to pressure to pass him? Noting that this story employs predictable plot elements, Philadelphia City Paper Web site contributor Patrick Rapa observed that, more often in the collection, Mindt reworks familiar scenarios to effect resolutions that are "sublime."

Durham, North Carolina, Independent Weekly Web site reviewer Adam Sobsey expressed similar praise for the book. "Mindt repeatedly draws from [literature's] oldest wells," he wrote, but even when these plot devices seem overly convenient, "you don't get the feeling that his writing is lazy or narrow or complacent." Noting the wide appeal of Mindt's work, which aims to attract a universal audience, Sobsey ventured that Mindt's writing is "a little naïve and a lot ambitious," and is distinguished by the author's naturally fluent narrative style and genuine interest in his characters. Though the critic felt that, at times, Mindt's interest in breadth worked against him, forcing him to imagine his characters' feelings rather than truly know them, Sobsey hailed the author as a seeker with a boundless enthusiasm for life that he wants to share with all the world.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Entertainment Weekly, April 27, 2007, Jeff Labrecque, review of Male of the Species, p. 144.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2007, review of Male of the Species,.

Publishers Weekly, March 5, 2007, review of Male of the Species, p. 41.

ONLINE

Gotham Writers Workshop Web site,http://www.writingclasses.com/ (October 23, 2007), faculty profile of Alex Mindt.

Independent Weekly (Durham, NC), http://www.indyweek.com/ (May 2, 2007), Adam Sobsey, review of Male of the Species.

Philadelphia City Paper,http://www.citypaper.net/ (October 23, 2007), Patrick Rapa, review of Male of the Species.