Authors

George Saunders – By the Book

george-saunders-by-the-bookSomething makes me trust GS, and now I want to read: Things I already wanted to read; Moonglow, Swing Time,The Attention Merchants, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and things I now want to read: Good Clean Fun (Nick Offerman), Words Without Music (Philip Glass), Resurrection (Tolstoy), and a slew of short stories.

I love that what most moves him are “depictions of goodness that are not fraudulent or sentimental.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/books/review/george-saunders-by-the-book.html

Tribute to C.D. Wright by Anna Ross

ON NOT JOINING: REMEMBERING C.D. WRIGHT

by Anna Ross

C .D. Wright, Language poet; C.D. Wright, elliptical poet; C.D. Wright, poet of the Ozarks, of Arkansas, erotic poet, poet of conscience, of place, of reportage, ekphrastic poet, elegiac poet. Poetry is the weird one: funny-looking on the page, resolutely non-commercial, refusing the neat thesis or linear narrative, and those of us who practice it often find ourselves in a defensive, explanatory crouch in the face of the question “So, what kind of poetry do you write?” As often, we acquiesce, labeling ourselves by school or influence either out of guilt for having introduced the awkward subject in the first place with our presence or because the stage, by its smallness, invites division. C. D. Wright, whom we lost suddenly and much too soon just over a week ago, never succumbed to this pressure. As she wrote in her National Book Critic’s Circle Award-winning One With Others, a book-length telling of Wright’s friend “V’s” participation in the 1969 Arkansas March Against Fear and the repercussions of that act, “[Where was it you wanted to bury this hatchet. Your land or mine.]”

 

Read more of Anna’s essay download

In Memoriam Peter Dickinson

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Peter Dickinson the author of around 60 books, has died at the age of 88. He is a children’s book author, fantasist and mystery writer.

 

I read The Changes years ago, and then later on read EvaAK and Tulku,  before discovering some of his adult mysteries.  He has such a fluent imagination. HE’s one of those writers who keeps working year after year, and none of the books I have read have not been worth reading.

Obituaries:

New York Times
The Guardian
The Independent
The Times
The Telegraph
Publisher’s Weekly
BBC
School Library Journal

Websites:
Author’s Website
Fantastic Fiction

A Tribute to Brian Friel (1929-2015) by David Brauner

A tribute to the Nobel winning playwright:

Did you know that one of the greatest writers of the last fifty years has just died? No, I don’t mean Henning Mankell. I’m referring to the Irish playwright Brian Friel. Friel is best known in this country for Translations (1980), which has become a perennial favourite on ‘A’-level courses, and for Dancing at Lughnasa (1990), his most frequently performed play, which was made into a film starring Meryl Streep. These plays fully deserve their reputation but Friel’s oeuvre includes a number of other masterpieces, includingPhiladelphia, Here I Come! (1964), The Freedom of the City (1973), Faith Healer (1979),Aristocrats (1979), Making History (1988) and Molly Sweeney (1994).

Click on the image for the rest of the article.

The Case for: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

I am very proud to re-post this by my cousin, Alexei Warshawksi–also proud that he is an English Major at U. of Warwick.

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” And with these words to his wife, Guy Montag begins to realise for the first time that perhaps he should trust the evidence of his own eyes over the processed ‘facts’ fed to him by the media and his superiors… Read on

Salman and Laughter

Salman Rushdie–always doing an impression of The Master these days.What’s the last book that made you laugh?

P. G. Wodehouse’s Code of the Woosters” which also contains the speech which Christopher Hitchens (and I) believed to be the greatest anti-Nazi diatribe in English literature:

“The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting, ‘Heil, Spode!’ and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: ‘Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?’ ”— Bertie Wooster in The Code of the Woosters (1938)

I should add that more or less everything by Christopher Hitchens makes me laugh. The laughter is what I miss most about the Hitch.

This is from: Salman Rushdie: By the Book in the New York Times Sept. 17, 2015

Hitchens’ review of Wodehouse: A Life by Robert McCrum

P.G. Wodehosue

Noli timere

Death Montage“Judt, James and Didion are shot through with the element that defines great art: they speak truths that the rest of us recognise but are unable to articulate.”

Mick Heaney, son of Seamus, writes about writing about dying.  Referencing many favourites.

In his book Without Feathers Woody Allen has a line that has become one of his most famous quips: “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Like all the best humour, the joke is accompanied by a sense of recognition.

It is almost an article of faith for people to say that, far from fearing death, they are reconciled to it. But Allen’s joke hits on an uncomfortable truth. Read more…