Coming to AWP? We’re presenting two panels on Friday, both moderated by our Director, Noreen Tomassi:
Author & Editor: The Relationship that Builds a Book
Jess Walter, Chuck Palahniuk, Calvert Morgan, and Monica Drake
This session focuses on the process of revision both in publishing houses and in writers’ groups. It features author Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins) and his editor at HarperCollins Calvert Morgan who discuss their work together, along with Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed) and author Monica Drake (The Stud Book) who are in a writers’ group together and are trusted readers of one another’s work in its early stages. Moderated by Center for Fiction Director Noreen Tomassi.
Image & Idea: A Reading and Conversation
Rachel Kushner and Colm Tóibín
Colm Tóibín (The Testament of Mary) described Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers as, “an ambitious and serious American novel. The scope is wide. The political and the personal are locked in a deep and fascinating embrace.” And in Tóibín’s latest novel he takes on nothing less than the mother of Christ. Hear these two authors read and speak about the larger ideas that inspired them and the need for scope in the contemporary novel. Moderated by Center for Fiction Director Noreen Tomassi.
And don’t forget to stop by our booth! We’re #1011.
Bark by Lorrie Moore
Bobcat by Rebecca Lee
Right now there are two books I’m saving for those days when I really need what I’m reading to be good. One is an advance copy of Lorrie Moore’s new story collection,Bark. No matter where Moore chooses to take me, I’m always assured that something interesting is going to be happening—linguistically, morally, politically—on every page. The other book is Rebecca Lee’s Bobcat. I’m a hardcore fan of Lee’s first book, The City is a Rising Tide, and everyone I know who’s read Bobcat has assured me that I’m in for total pleasure when I read it.
Piano Stories by Felisberto Hérnández
The biography for Felisberto Hernández reads: “Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1902, Felisberto Hernández was a talented pianist who played in the silent-screen movie theaters when he was twelve years old and later toured the small concert halls of Uruguay and Argentina. He married four times, published seven books, and died, impoverished, in 1964.” I’ve only ever read one story of his before, “The Crocodile,” about a pianist who learns to cry crocodile tears, and this does wonders for his career, and then, eventually, after being given a cartoon drawing of a crying crocodile who resembles him, “though I had no intention of imitating the crocodile, my face began to weep, all on its own. I watched as if I were looking at a sister whose unhappiness I knew nothing about.” It’s a very good story! And now a collection of Hernández stories, Piano Stories, is being put out in English, translated by Luis Harss, with an introduction by Italo Calvino and a preface by Francine Prose, and I am very much looking forward to reading this book.
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee
I’ve already had the privilege of reading Rebecca Mead’s delicious meditation, My Life in Middlemarch, which falls somewhere between biography, memoir, and criticism; but I’m looking hugely forward to sharing it with friends, as it’s not officially published until January. Mead’s reflections upon the central place of George Eliot’s masterpiece in the formation of Mead’s own psyche are enlivening and inspiring. The rare pleasure of this book is like that of a great literary conversation, of a kind increasingly rare: It is meant to be shared. An enormous treat to look forward to later in the year is Hermione Lee’s biography of Penelope Fitzgerald, already available in the UK and appearing here in 2014. Inevitably underrated—herself a mistress of understatement—Fitzgerald was one of the great British writers of the late Twentieth century. Her wry, continent novels contain worlds and wisdom far greater and more engrossing than many far longer books. The Blue Flower remains one of the most extraordinary novels I know. That Fitzgerald didn’t publish until she was 58—an age at which most people are preparing to retire—makes her all the more remarkable, and her biography all the more tantalizing.