Deb Olin Unferth photographed by Elizabeth Haidle.
Deb Olin Unferth’s quirky-funny-brilliant collection, Wait Till You See Me Dance, features 39 short (and shorter) stories on the absurdity and magnificence of everyday life. And they give the impression—I mean, they at times make you wonder if—they’re directly drawn from her life.
“She doesn’t have any skills,” Unferth writes in “My Daughter Debbie,” a story narrated by a lovingly exasperated mother. “While she was growing up, I always encouraged her to learn how to do something. I ...
Ron Powers photographed by Sarah Junek.
When Kelly Rindfleisch wrote the words, “No one cares about crazy people,” she never dreamed Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author Ron Powers would read them.
“I cannot describe to you the emotion, the shockwave, that hit me when I read that quote,” says Powers, author of No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America, who Kirkus reached at home in Castleton, Vermont.
Rindfleisch, who was Wisconsin Governor Scott ...
Quips on our radar
(l-r) 2016 Barnes & Noble Discover judges Sloane Crosley and Emma Straub with Rumaan Alam, author of 2016 Discover pick 'Rich & Pretty.' Photo courtesy Daniel Rutkowski.
Dispatch from the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Awards ceremony, March 1, 2017:
“The boxes made a heavy thump when they were delivered to my front porch. I unpacked them in my bedroom, making a long row of novels and story collections. ‘Whoa,’ my daughter said. ‘That’s a lot of imagination.’ ” —Benjamin Percy, Discover Awards judge, details “a year of strenuous reading” in presenting first prize fiction to Abby Geni for The Lightkeepers
Ariel Levy photographed by David Klagsbrun.
Since childhood, Ariel Levy has been relegated to the terrible “too”s— too ardent, too aggressive, too male, too much.
“One of the defining experiences of my childhood was being told to tamp it down—not be so loud, not be so forceful, not be so assertive,” says Levy, author of The Rules Do Not Apply. “Everywhere I turned, someone was [sending me] the message, which was you’d better find a way to feminize or you’re not going to be OK ...
Photo courtesy Nick Bradley
Debut author Julianne Pachico knows what you’re thinking when you hear the words “Colombian literature.”
“When people say ‘Colombian literature,’ ” she says, “the book that instantly comes into people’s heads is One Hundred Years of Solitude.”
Raised by expat parents in Cali, Colombia, Pachico departed at age 18 to continue her education in Oregon and England. But those formative years gave her an insider’s perspective on Gabriel García Márquez’s most famous fiction.
“It’s so interesting to ...
Photo courtesy Jillian Edelstein
The key to understanding Mohsin Hamid’s slim, stunning new novel is in the doors.
“Rumors had begun to circulate of doors that could take you elsewhere, often to places far away, well removed from this death trap of a country,” Hamid writes in Exit West, an extraordinary love story that opens in an unnamed country under siege by militants.
“Some people claimed to know people who knew people who had been through such doors. A normal door, they said ...
Quips on our radar
“[P]erhaps the most eye-opening foreign country I ever visited was Los Angeles International Airport, where once I spent two weeks wandering the terminals, watching the global city of the future form and re-form around me.”
—British-born global travel writer Pico Iyer, “Is travel writing dead?” (answer: no) at Granta
“[T]hat rhetorical move—the, ‘here, I’m telling you a joke; you’re about to laugh’ move—is so much like the way a poem moves, creates ...
Photo courtesy Deborah Feingold
Among the epigraphs of Melissa Febos’s sophomore memoir, Abandon Me, is a quotation by English psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott: “It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found.”
“I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to use that epigraph,” says Febos, who considered it for her critically acclaimed debut, Whip Smart, the chronicle of her experience as a professional dominatrix. “When I first read that sentence, it just fell to the ...