Focus on authors

Monday, February 28, 2011

I’d like to mention several items of interest about authors in the news.

First, the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes has announced its finalists for the best writing of 2010.

  • Congratulations to Ed Roberson, who teaches poetry in the Northwestern University MA/MFA program in creative writing, for the recognition of his book of 120 new poems, To See the Earth Before the End of the World. Wesleyan University Press writes, “Roberson’s poems range widely through different scales of time and space, invoking along the way history and myth, galaxies and garbage trucks, teapots and the history of photography, mating cranes and Chicago's political machine.”
  • Congratulations also to Christine Sneed, selected as a finalist for her book of ten short stories, Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry. Sneed recently talked with TriQuarterly Online about her book.

Second, The Guardian explores author Tessa Hadley's life in writing, particularly her affinity for “domestic fiction.” On her writing style, Alex Clark writes:

Her novels are often episodic and tightly sprung. Part of the business of trying to capture the truth of everyday life involves admitting its gaps and jumps in time, the little pockets that are inexplicable and unexamined.

And a couple more humorous offerings:

Publishers Weekly interviews Arthur Phillips on his faux memoir that also contains a new Shakespearean play. On this new work, The Tragedy of Arthur, Phillips comments, “My brother, who did not make the cut for the fictional family, said his lawyers would be in touch after I finished, because he'd been excluded.”

Finally, Mike Sacks and Scott Rothman present a series of letters by a fictitious aspiring writer, soliciting famous authors for a blurb for his book. He introduces himself, “I am a writer named Rhon Penny (silent h), and I am no longer married.” To Thomas Pynchon: “You have to be wondering: What in the world is this novel I've agreed to blurb actually about? And why is Rhon no longer married? Excellent queries both.” Read on to see what he proposes to Don DeLillo and the Estate of John Updike.