Our preview of books first published abroad
The Girl in the Red Coat
U.K.: Feb. 26, 2015 | Faber & Faber
U.S.: None yet
Twenty-five girls in red coats handed out 20,000 sample chapters at London train stations to promote this compelling debut novel, a rare investment and a sign that Faber & Faber expects it to be a bestseller. The story is every parent’s nightmare: a little girl, Carmel, vanishes mysteriously at a book fair, leaving ...
A dispatch from this year's Associated Writing Programs conference.
Graywolf Press' event with Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, Maggie Nelson, and Claudia Rankine was packed. Photo by AWP/Robb Cohen Photography.
The annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference hit Minneapolis this past week. Addressing North America’s largest literary conference, the mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, turned out to welcome attendees at Thursday’s keynote with a sincere rally cry for more poetry in her administration—her love for literature went so far to include an admission that she has written an unpublished YA novel. Before Karen Russell took the stage to deliver the actual keynote address, Mayor Hodges brought attention ...
Angela Flournoy photographed by LaTaya T. Duncan
When Angela Flournoy visited her grandparents’ Detroit home in 2009, no one had been living there for quite some time—yet it remained crystallized in perfect condition. After her grandmother moved out, her uncles continued to maintain the house as neighboring East Side homes crumbled into disrepair and squatters proliferated. Flournoy recalls the eerie sensation that time had frozen within the house, even as the surrounding city, corroded by violence and economic downfall, had completely transformed.
“It made me start thinking ...
Amelia Gray photographed by Matthew Chamberlain.
Sometimes we happen upon writers who completely alter the way we conceive of the written form. It’s a humbling thing in a reader’s life, to be immersed in this phenomenon, and when it occurs, there’s little else to do but savor the rarity.
Amelia Gray is one such writer, and her palette of work elicits this thunderstruck state. From her earlier collections of short fiction, AM/PM and Museum of the Weird, to her debut novel, Threats, Gray gallops head-first ...
Emily Schultz photographed by Brian Joseph Davis
In The Blondes, a novel by Emily Schultz, a contagious disease afflicts only flaxen-haired females. Prior to death, victims of Siphonaptera Human Virus (SHV), popularly known as “Gold Fever” or “California Rabies,” are highly prone to violent attacks.
“ ‘Save it, Burroughs! Her brain’s bleached. She can’t hear you,’ ” one police officer shouts to another at John F. Kennedy International Airport, while subduing a flight attendant. The woman attempted to maul a toddler.
The airport scene ...
The celebrated Western novelist and historian dies at age 75
Ivan Doig photographed by Carol Doig
Ivan Doig, the novelist and historian whose work celebrated the Western landscapes in which he spent most of his life, died this morning at his home in Seattle. He was 75 years old and had been suffering for the last eight years from the effects of multiple myeloma—which did nothing at all to keep him from completing four books, the last of which, a novel called The Last Bus to Wisdom, will be published in August.
I had the ...
Ann Packer photographed by Elena Seibert
On the eve of the publication of Ann Packer’s third novel, The Children’s Crusade, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author tells me she is anticipating the following question: “What made you want to write the book in 10 sections, from four different first-person narrators and covering five decades?”
Her answer is simple and at the ready.
“I didn’t! I didn’t want to do that!” Packer laughs into the phone from her home in northern California. “It ...
It wasn't a hit for a long time, and then it was
When F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby was published 90 years ago, bowing in on April 10, 1925, it did not take the reading world by storm. Critics were hostile or indifferent, chiding Fitzgerald for vulgarity, triviality, and jealousy over the fortunes of his social betters. Fitzgerald’s friend Edmund Wilson had his doubts, calling the too often drunk Fitzgerald a “sloppy boor” and his book an appropriately sloppy mess. Even Fitzgerald wondered if he should have written his book ...