ESSENTIAL READING

An Interview with David L. Ulin

on his new book Ear to the Ground 


Earthquakes, Hollywood, and money, money, money—David. L. Ulin's Ear to the Ground is an entertaining satire that never loses its heart. Originally published as a serial novel in The Los Angeles Reader in the 90's, the book has recently been released by Unnamed Press. Here, Ulin discusses co-writing the novel with Paul Kolsby, serial novels as an art form, and the thrilling nature of earthquakes.

 

"A serial novel is a strange beast because it appears in print, but piece by piece, and I wanted to be able to present the book as a whole. But it wasn't until Paul called me a couple of years ago to ask if I still had the novel that something more concrete began to emerge. We read the book and got excited about the possibility of it coming out. Then we began to see how that might work." READ 

New Event! 
Jean Findlay: Chasing Lost Time

We're pleased to announce this new event featuring Jean Findlay, great-great niece of legendary translator C.K. Scott Moncrieff. Findlay will discuss her new biography of her enigmatic uncle and his work translating Marcel Proust

 

Join us on Wednesday, June 8th at 7pm. Click here for more information on the event and to RSVP. 

 

A Tribute to Edith Grossman 

 

If you've read Spanish-language literature, chances are you've read an Edith Grossman translation. From Cervantes to Gabriel García Márquez to Mario Vargas Llosa to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Grossman is a chameleon, able to take on the voice of an author and transform their writing into a stunning work of art for the English-speaking world.

 

On April 30th, in celebration of her 80th birthday, Grossman was fêted by her colleagues as part of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, in partnership with the Cervantes Institute. We'd like to continue the celebration by sharing with you some of the tributes she received. READ

Constant Cravings
by Jennifer Haigh


Jennifer Haigh's new novel, Heat and Light, takes place in Bakerton, PA where alcoholism and meth addiction are commonplace. In this book list she picks three story collections and four novels that delve into the topic of addiction in its many forms. 

"My character Dick Devlin worked in the coal mines until his job disappeared; then he opened a tavern. His younger son is a recovering addict who works as a counselor in a methadone clinic, and his older son, a corrections officer in a prison full of drug offenders—an entire family working in the addictions business. In Bakerton, as everywhere, drinking and drugging are baked into the culture. For the addict and everyone around him, the consequences are profound." READ MORE

The Book That Made Me A Reader
Sara Paretsky on Louisa May Alcott and James Joyce


What do little women and a young man have to do with Sara Paretsky's reading habits? Find out in this new edition of The Book That Made Me a Reader by the creator of the iconic V. I. Warshawski. 

 

"I can’t remember the first books I read, although I do remember the first words I wasn’t able to sound out: 'city' and 'Penelope.' Perhaps I was reading a child’s history of the Trojan War. My older brother taught me to read and write as he was learning those things, so I don’t remember beginning, I only remember being in the middle."  READ MORE

An excerpt from Ways to Disappear 
by Idra Novey


What happens when a famous author disappears up an almond tree with just a suitcase and a cigar? In the case of Idra Novey's much-buzzed-about new novel Ways to Disappear that means a translator, the author's children, a loan shark, and even the country of Brazil start looking for her. In this excerpt, we get a clue to the infamous Beatriz Yagoda's whereabouts. 

"The esteemed literary publisher Roberto Rocha liked to test his steaks to see if the meat was worth what he had paid for it. The test had to do with the density of the smoke once the steaks began to sizzle. With the works of fiction he selected for his press, he tested for density as well, for something tender in the middle yet still heavy enough to blacken the air." READ MORE

How Walter White Can Make You a Better Writer 

by Martha Southgate 

 

"I’m proud to admit that I was and am an obsessive fan of Breaking Bad. When Walt, Jesse and all their friends left us on that Sunday night three years ago, I was left bereft for a while. Sundays just weren’t the same without those guys."

 

What can blue meth and tighty-whities teach you about writing fiction? In this new craft post, acclaimed writer Martha Southgate uses one of her favorite TV shows to illustrate some helpful writing tools to have in your arsenal. 

 

    1. JUNIOR EDITION: New Fiction for Younger Readers #29

    by Celia McGee


    JUNIOR EDITION: New Books for Younger Readers searches recent releases to discover the best kids' fiction out there. Writer, editor, and Center for Fiction board member Celia McGee covers four fantastic titles in this month's columnThe Magical Fantastical Fridge by Harlan Coben & illustrated by Leah Tinari, The Big Dark by Rodman Philbrick, Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire, and Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit. We hope Celia's terrific choices inspire the kids in your life to pick up a book (and you may even find yourself flipping through these pages!)

    Congratulations to Eric Simonoff
    Recipient of the 2016 Maxwell E. Perkins Award

     
    The Center for Fiction is pleased to announce that literary agent Eric Simonoff, Partner of William Morris Endeavor (WME), is the recipient of its 2016 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction.

     

    The award will be presented to Mr. Simonoff at the Center’s December 6 Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City. READ MORE



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    Kundiman + Emotive Fruition: Be(come)ing American (NYC)
    Wednesday, May 25, 2016
    7:00pm to 8:00pm
    Botanic Lab, 86 Orchard St

    A reading celebrating Janine Joseph’s debut collection, Driving Without a License, winner of the Kundiman Prize for Poetry with a staged performance of poems exploring what it means to be(come) American.