Saturday, November 29, 2008
Shivers of anticipation for a local writer and friend, John Jeter, whose first published novel, THE PLUNDER ROOM, will be in stores in January.
The co-owner of The Handlebar, a phenomenal concert hall, John was one of the first to sign up for the Writing Room, our local program for Upstate writers, sponsored by the Emrys Foundation.
He took Ashley Warlick's advanced fiction workshop, and met with success.
Here's more about the book from John's blog, along with blurbs from Ashley, Karin Gilliespie, and Ron Rash, and the story behind the book.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Never have been a fan of the Black Friday insanity, and proudly abstain from the 5 a.m. lines. I guess I'm not much of a hunter/gatherer.
<--- It's easy to lose your head over stuff.
But I sure do love being outside on a day like this one: 60 plus degrees, gorgeous sapphire sky, rosemary and pansies to plant.
A glimmer of good news today. Ron Rash's novel, Serena, made Janet Maslin's cut of "Books that Tower Above the Rest." So, yay. Ron is a mentor of mine. A good soul and an immensely talented writer who is getting some well-deserved attention lately-- but then folks from around these parts always knew he would.
Other books named that I just have to move up on my own list: Lush Life by Richard Price, Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, A Mercy by Toni Morrison....and more.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I've been bad. Haven't blogged. But I'm back. First, with some book recommendations.
In the epistolary tradition, two novels who tell their stories through letters:
Dear American Airlines by Jonathon Miles "a scathingly funny, deeply moving story of a stranded airline passenger, whose enraged letter of complaint transforms into a lament for a life gone awry."
Bennie Ford, the protagonist, is a 53-year old failed poet turned translator who manages to leaven the dark disappointments in his life (failed marriages, estrangement from his daughter, alcoholism) with searing bits of wit. In short, he's a character you won't mind spending hours with at the airport bar, just to hear his biting, poignant story. I felt I was there at his elbow, listening, buying him another round.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is told entirely in letters-- between a group of post-WWII correspondents. Warm, tender, and despite the tragic period of history it touches on, optimistic. The kind of novel your book group will agree is "charming."
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