I've been trying to attend book events in NYC, and it's really hard to find a list of things happening around the city without going to each individual bookstore/publisher's site. Do you have any tips to help find book or author events going on?
Oh hm! This is hard. There used to be Book Boroughing, but it looks like they’ve gone quiet. Surely though we’re forgetting something—and so we open it up to the world. World?
Mallory Ortberg’s TEXTS FROM JANE EYRE, the often passive-aggressive, sometimes strange, and always humorous imagined texts from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield, to Allison Adler at Holt, by Kate McKean at Howard Morhaim Literary Agency (World).
oh my god
Go Kate! Go Mallory! I will read the crap out of this.
“I have gotten into baseball recently, and whenever I have trouble writing, I think about the pace of baseball. It’s slow. You strike out a lot, even if you’re great. It’s mostly individual, but when you have to work together, it must be perfect. My desktop picture is of the Red Sox during the World Series. They aren’t winning; they’re just grinding out another play. This, for me, is very helpful to have in my mind while writing.”—Greta Gerwig on writing at 14 Screenwriters Writing - NYTimes.com
Tuesday Before Thanksgiving, Calm before storms. You’re Not stuck on 1-95, not trapped With weird Libertarian in-laws. You are Still your own goddamned person dammit And today you are drinking at South. From two To nine. Probably the hard stuff because why The hell not. And because. And if it starts Snowing really hard and you just can’t Get out of town: it’s going to be Okay. Stay here. There Are worse places To be.
Hello! I noticed that on this here tumblr you said that there were be sales on this Thursday, but on the site it says Friday. I was hoping you could clarify? Thanks, and keep up the fantastic work!!! =D
“I’ve learned a lot in writing workshops, but I learned even more from writing a Tumblr. I’m still learning from it. Tumblr is, essentially, my M.F.A.”—Tim Manley, Alice in Tumblr-land: What Tumblr Taught Me About Writing
I was introduced to Sara Nović at the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester, in my capacity as a thesis advisor in the Columbia University M.F.A. program. I began, as I always do, by asking my advisee to tell me about her project. Sara said that she had been working for several years on a novel which juxtaposes a young Croatian girl’s experiences during the Yugoslav Wars with her later attempts to “pass as American” while attending college in New York City. There was just one problem: in the time between signing up and being paired with an advisor she’d sold the novel to Random House (as yet untitled, but due out in early 2015).
I advised her that this was not, strictly speaking, a problem. And yet it did raise a somewhat vexing question as to how proceed. An editor is nothing if not a kind of thesis advisor, and I didn’t think the novel needed two. So I asked Sara what else she was working on, and she said she had some short stories in various states of completion, and so we got to work.
Nović’s stories are sharp, dark, full of urgency and rich with the comedy of despair. (One is narrated by a Deaf teenage boy whose born-again mother attempts to have him faith-healed.) As you’ll see, the setting and concerns of “Notes on a War-Torn Childhood” resonate with the description of the novel given above, but it is not an excerpt.The story, told in distilled, nimble, haunting prose, begins simply: “I’m ten the night my house explodes.”
What follows is a vivid and bracing tale of survival, as Nović shows us the terrible swiftness with which normal life can be obliterated: a city becomes a hellscape, a child is forced to join a war: “Every morning we bike the wreckage formerly known as streets, each with one eye to the ground, pinpointing Četnik strongholds and reporting coordinates back to the Captain. […] They call me Red Sonja, which is a reference to a movie I’ve never seen, but one which they assure me is badass.”
Badass, indeed. Sara Nović’s is a powerful, original, and compelling new voice; one that I hope and expect will be with us for a long time, and which it is my privilege to recommend to you today.
Justin Taylor Author, Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever
I’m ten the night my house explodes. The sound isn’t a sound, just a vibration so strong it rattles my chest. I come-to face down on the floor, impossibly unharmed, and pull myself on my elbows across the carpet and into the hallway. A section of the house—the part where my parents’ bedroom is supposed to be—is missing. I run. In the street, the pavement is warped from the treads of tanks that have plowed through the neighborhood. I spot a trench, jump down, and follow its rutted path toward the city center.
Deep underground in the public shelter I bypass the cluster of my classmates who are vying for their turn on the stationary bicycle that lights this airless cement box—surrogate playtime, a welcome distraction from boredom and fear. They let me cut the line, and I pedal fast until the lights glow full-strength and my joints stiffen with shock. It’s only when I stop that I notice the blood trickling from my ears and down my neck in thin red escape routes. Other people’s mothers ask me if I’m okay. I don’t like to talk about it.
People in the city are disappearing. People have been forced to walk east; people have become hemic vapor amidst the midnight explosions. We are fortunate they’ve blown up the TV tower, that we cannot turn on the news and see the images the rest of Europe is now viewing and ignoring: pictures of our neighbors, bald and emaciated in camps that the Serbian government is claiming, in the same broadcast, do not exist.
“Let’s say you’re not a writer hard at work on your first novel. Let’s say you’re a Tribute who’s just been selected for the Hunger Games. You’re freaking out because you’re facing almost certain death in the Arena. And instead of a published author, I’m going to be that drunk guy who’s supposed to be telling you how to survive. It’s a good fit. Like Woody Harrelson, I am short and bald. And I like a drink. I may be drunk right now, who knows? But more important, I’ve done this before and lived. So I’m here to tell you: it is survivable.”—Some advice from Lev Grossman for National Novel Writing Month
“New Directions was somewhat in the doldrums when I first joined, and so was [James Laughlin], who suffered from depression. At my first editorial meeting, I cracked a joke that my friends called the press “Old Directions.” Nobody laughed. But then JL discovered Prozac, and also Guy Davenport and Anne Carson. It became a much happier place.”—This interview with Barbara Epler of New Directions is A+. (via mcnallyjackson)
“Ah, Mr. Rochester. The tortured romantic hero who inspired a million girls to hold out hope for that adorable, brooding guy a grade above them who tortures them with snarky insults and always seems to be dating the most popular girls in school. What do his comments really mean?? And wouldn’t he be happier with you than with that snobby Michelle, anyway? Deep down, he’s probably just afraid to admit what a profound connection you have. Yup, that’s it.”—Everything I Knew About Dating I Learned From 19th Century Novels. Huge Mistake. | Claire Fallon