“Perhaps the greatest benefit of writing about kidhood from a kid’s point of view is the dramatic possibilities of trapping a protagonist or narrator in his/her present, in his/her right now, without reference to the broader, more reflective environs of adulthood.”
Fiction writers are sometimes the first to prostrate themselves and say they don’t get poetry, but these five recommendations have been hand-picked for prosers: Post Moxie by Julia Story, Thin Kimono by Michael Earl Craig, Noose and Hook by Lynn Emanuel, The Madeleine Poems by Paul Legault, and American Fanatics by Dorothy Barresi.
Erzsebet Bathory gained immortal fame as one of the first female serial killers; known as the “Bloody Countess,” she was accused of brutally torturing and murdering over six-hundred young women. But was she really an unrepentant, psychopathic murderer—or simply a political obstacle to the king? Was she really bathing in the blood of her victims, or was she herself the victim of a witch hunt? Such questions haunt the pages of The Countess (Crown, 2010), Rebecca Johns’s lively historical novel, which reconstructs the complexity of this 17th century scandal and brings alive the woman behind the myth.
Jonathan Tropper’s latest novel, This is Where I Leave You (paperback: Plume, July 2010), mines the hilarity from dysfunction in a belated coming-of-age story. After patriarch Mort Foxman passes away, the Foxman clan is forced to sit through what might be the craziest shiva of all time.
Through prose that is concise, confident, and empathetic, Malie Meloy evokes what David Foster Wallace called the “plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions” of life, and treats them with “reverence and conviction.” Joshua Bodwell talked with Meloy about her newest collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, the craft of writing short fiction, and the art of finding the right voice for a story.
Sung J. Woo was born in Korea and immigrated to the United States with his mother and two sisters when he was ten years old. Several years earlier, his father had moved to this country in order to establish a small business–a small, Asian-themed store in a mall in New Jersey–which would one day serve as the basis for the setting of Sung Woo’s debut novel, Everything Asian. Captured with humor and generosity, the book chronicles one year in the lives of the Kim family as they adjust to a new life in the United States and interact with fellow shopkeepers at Peddlers Town.
Woo spoke with Jeremiah Chamberlin on May 15th during the Ann Arbor Book Festival.
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