Best of Fiction 2010 - Author Q&A's

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2010 Best Books: Rick Moody

by Gregory McNamee on December 13, 2010 | Question and Answer

Rick Moody surprised us this year with The Four Fingers of Death, a sprawling, madcap novel that wanders through deep space into the heart of the Arizona desert, its hero a lost-soul writer named Montese Crandall who spends his days trying to reduce novels to the size of Internet tweets. The four fingers in question refer to an old grade-Z creature feature from 1963—but more, to a very real partial hand that is now creating mayhem back on Earth, having gone awry somewhere on the path home from Mars. What happens next is…well, you’ll need to read ...

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2010 Best Books: Paul Murray

by Don McLeese on December 13, 2010 | Question and Answer

The scope of the second novel, Skippy Dies, by Irish author Paul Murray (An Evening of Long Goodbyes, 2004) is indicated by its simultaneous publication as a slip-covered set of three paperback volumes (“Hopeland,” “Heartland” and “Ghostland”). Though widely praised as a comic novel, it opens with the death of its protagonist and subsequently proceeds through an account of life at a Dublin boarding school where students suffer from bullying and romantic malaise, and teachers (many of them former students) suggest the dead-end fates that await their pupils. Yet Murray’s narrative of “the juggernaut of puberty” is as exuberantly ...

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2010 Best Books: Margriet de Moor

by Jessie Grearson on December 13, 2010 | Question and Answer

A classical singer before becoming a prize-winning author, Margriet de Moor’s books have been translated into 20 languages. Here the Dutch author discusses The Storm, which Kirkus called an “exquisitely composed” story of the life lines between two sisters forever changed by a catastrophic event. The novel also explores the connections between music and literature. The breath, says de Moor, is the point of intersection between the two arts, connecting the “singing voice of music with the telling voice of literature.”

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2010 Best Books: Danielle Evans

by Faye Grearson on December 13, 2010 | Question and Answer

Danielle Evans’ Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self was one of 2010’s outstanding breakout debut short-story collections. “Armed with no easy answers but plenty of bad choices, the talented, too-smart-for-their-own-good protagonists are painfully aware of the consequences of their actions, even when they think they have no better choice… A welcome new talent—with a funny and dark take on being black in America,” read the original Kirkus starred review. Currently at work on her first novel, here Evans took a break to talk to Kirkus about how she crafted the book.

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2010 Best Books: Jennifer Egan

by Erika Rohrbach on December 13, 2010 | Question and Answer

Anyone tracking the monstrous critical success of Jennifer Egan’s latest opus, A Visit from the Goon Squad, probably knows it is the uncanny love child of conceptual insight gleaned from years of reading Proust and structural inspiration drawn from The Sopranos. Beset by time as the ultimate goon, Egan’s richly eclectic cast of music-industry have and have-nots confront one another across three decades, multiple points of view, even a chapter written in PowerPoint. Though Egan’s genius for narrative experimentation has brought this Brooklyn resident much international acclaim in the handful of months since the book’s publication ...

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