Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

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President Sends Fan Mail…to Novelist

As if we didn’t already know Obama was the Reader-in-Chief, here’s further proof: recently, President Obama sent a fan letter to author Yann Martel. Galleycat reports: Today novelist Yann Martel posted a piece of fan mail he received from President Barack Obama. The president wrote: “My daughter and I just finished reading Life of Pi together. Both of us agreed we prefer the story with animals. It is a lovely book–an elegant proof of God and the power of storytelling.” Martel’s response? If there was a way of tattooing it on my back, I would. What amazes me is the […]


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Mr. President, tell us a story

One year after President Obama’s inauguration, everyone seems to have either criticism or advice for his administration–for pushing health care reform; for not yet passing health care reform; for not waving his magic wand to fix the economy, eradicate H1N1, and end both wars; for not leaping tall buildings in a single bound. But author Junot Diaz points out a different problem in an an essay in the New Yorker: President Obama’s lack of storytelling since his election. All year I’ve been waiting for Obama to flex his narrative muscles, to tell the story of his presidency, of his Administration, […]


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while we're talking book clubs…

Politico.com is calling Obama “the next Oprah.” The president’s widely circulated summer reading list seems to have given every book on it a huge bump in sales, as indicated by these Amazon rankings (stats are via Politico) BEFORE = on Monday, before Obama’s list was released / AFTER = as of Wednesday): – The Way Home by George Pelecanos — BEFORE: no. 33,349 / AFTER: no. 328 – Lush Life, by Richard Price — BEFORE: no. 74,289 / AFTER: no. 10,295 – Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman — BEFORE: no. 231 / AFTER: no. 41 – John Adams […]


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since it's National Poetry Month…

I’m going to waive the whole “all fiction, all the time” rule and devote some space to poetry on FWR. Fiction writers benefit enormously from reading poetry, and many of us (yours truly included) tried our hand at–or continue to secretly aspire to–being poets. At FWR, a number of our contributors and readers are poets (the out kind!), and I’m wondering if you’d take a few minutes to tell us: What poets or new, recent, or classic books of poetry are you reading? Poets (and fiction writers, too, if you’re game), please send any and all recommendations to either annestameshkin@gmail.com […]


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It's a bird, it's a plane, it's…a book-loving PRESIDENT!!

Michiko Kakutani is thrilled (and aren’t we all!) that our new president is a bonafide, enthusiastic reader. Here’s to an era of empathetic, intelligent governance; all hail the book-loving chief!! Much has been made of Mr. Obama’s eloquence — his ability to use words in his speeches to persuade and uplift and inspire. But his appreciation of the magic of language and his ardent love of reading have not only endowed him with a rare ability to communicate his ideas to millions of Americans while contextualizing complex ideas about race and religion, they have also shaped his sense of who […]


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Yes we did!

At least today, words can’t capture what this election day means to our country and to the entire world. We hosted a party, hollered and cheered with hoards of fellow Brooklynites in the streets till nearly dawn, yawped from the rooftops, hugged strangers, wept. It may be a few days before I come down from this real, real high and can think about fiction. OBAMA!!!


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VOTE!

In case there’s a long line, bring some election-themed litereature; the Picador blog has a few suggestions, along with a lament that there aren’t more novels in this genre. To explain voting to the little ones, here’s a list of children’s books about elections. Also check out Jon Meacham’s essay “How to Read Like a President,” in which he discusses the reading habits of past presidents, Barack Obama, and John McCain. What do each candidate’s favorite books say about how he sees the world or might lead this country? Now stop reading this, all you writers and readers; go out […]


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Khaled Hosseini

Kathryn forwarded me this Washington Post piece by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Here’s an excerpt: I prefer to discuss politics through my novels, but I am truly dismayed these days. Twice last week alone, speakers at McCain-Palin rallies have referred to Sen. Barack Obama, with unveiled scorn, as Barack Hussein Obama…What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of “traitor,” “liar,” “terrorist” and (worst of all) “kill him!” that could be heard at recent rallies. McCain is perfectly capable of telling hecklers off. […]


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Books for Barack

I still haven’t read one of her mysteries, but in 2005, Ayelet Waldman had me at hello with her infamous Modern Love essay — the one where she admits – blissfully – to loving her husband even more than her children. (Bonus: said husband is Michael Chabon.) Now Waldman is channeling some of that passion toward electing Barack Obama, who she first met in law school. She’s launched a Books for Barack fundraising drive. In a widely circulated email, Waldman called for writers to donate signed copies of their books, including rare collectibles and first editions, to offer as gifts […]



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