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James Tata recommended Mary Allen, specifically pointing out her book The Rooms of Heaven : A Story of Love, Death, Grief, and the Afterlife. According to James, "Much of the coverage of Joan Didion's recent The Year of Magical Thinking concentrated on the rarity of grief being accurately depicted in literature, and on the resemblance of grief to madness; Allen's memoir anticipates Didion's by half a decade, and her account of trying to contact her dead lover through the devices of Spiritualism becomes a harrowing metaphor for the intolerability of love's loss."
Sam Jones (Golden Rule Jones) writes about Mario Benedetti: "Uruguayan author popular for decades in Latin America; puzzlingly little has been translated into English."
Nominated by Ron Hogan, who says, "She's been getting some fabulous recognition for her last two novels, Liquor and Prime, but she deserves to be bigger, and if you aren't reading those books, well, run right down to the bookstore."
Our pal the Rake sends along a nomination for Jack Butler, saying "A guy who once wrote a strange and funny and deadly serious novel about martial arts and race relations. I will not stop mentioning him until Jujitsu for Christ gets back in print."
From CAAF (Tingle Alley): "Carrington’s probably best known as a Surrealist painter. But everyone should have her novel, The Hearing Trumpet, on their shelf to pull down in times of overwhelming duress and dumbassery, it’s just consoling to know it’s out there in the world—you can get a taste of its twiggy greatness here (unfortunately not included is a sampling of the book’s pixillating illustrations, drawn by Carrington’s son, Pablo Weisz-Carrington). It’s one of my all-time favorites. She’s written several other books but right now The Hearing Trumpet’s the only one in print—which is why I’m including her on this list."
More about Leonora Carrington
+ A gallery of selected paintings
+ Listen to Carrington's story "The Debutante" at Stories to Go
From Lee Rourke (Scarecrow): "Blaise Cendrars changed the course of modern literature/poetry; it's just that not that many people know this. Read him, read him, read him and see. A writer with a vast imagination, just don't believe everything he tells you."
More about Blaise Cendrars
+ Lee Rourke's article "The Astonished Man"
+ Profile of Cendrars
+ French and English version of his poem "Contrasts"
+ Site officiel du Centre d'Etudes Blaise Cendrars
+ James Sallis' profile of Cendrars
A.M. Correa (Out of the Woods Now), our South American representative, sends along a nomination for Killarney Clary:
Spare prose poetry that inhabits the territory of the metaphysicals.
(Potential Stranger came out in 2003.)
an excerpt from "Two Notes":
"When you are the scrub jay, taillights in the fog, when I am compelled to
find you everywhere, you still haven't arrived. I'm teased by the cloudy
fire opal, a country of albacore snarling on itself, future in waterdrops
beaded on a bare branch, shuddering free. They tell me there's warmth in
these clothes, that I was born from you, that you are gone."
A.M. Correa recommended Colombian poet Andrea Cote. According to the Poetry International Website: "The poetry of Andrea Cote is characterized by an intimate tone that employs the rhythms of anecdotes and everyday life, and that recreates dialogues between people that observe and register, and let themselves be wounded by an external reality that often moves them to the point of being terrorized."
"Fiction feeds farmer-writer Stanley Crawford's life like his very blood. It's always part of him - pumping, circulating, sustaining," writes Ollie Reed Jr of the Albuquerque Tribune of Sam Jones's selection for underrated writer. Sam says of Crawford that he's a "bit like Helprin in comic mode." Crawford is the author of six books and currently lives, farms, and writes in New Mexico.
More about Stanley Crawford
+ Crawford's books at Powell's.
+ KCRW's bookworm will discuss Crawford's book Petroleum Man on December 22.
+ Village Voice review of Petroleum Man.
+ A Home Living article about Crawford's garlic farm.
From Dan Wickett: "He was a winner of the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award back in 1986 with the collection, Silent Retreats, and having recently re-read this, I was reminded just how damn good it was. He's since published many a story in literary journals, seeing his name in Pushcarts, O'Henry's and BASS anthologies in recent years. He has another story collection and a novel he's shopping around and I look forward to seeing them in print by 2007."
More about Philip F. Deaver
+ Selections from Deaver's poetry collection, How Men Pray
+ Deaver discusses the marketing of How Men Pray at Conversational Reading
+ Dan Wickett's recent conversation with Deaver
Of Pete Dexter, C. Max Magee writes: "Dexter is somewhat well-known, he won a National Book Award for Paris Trout in the late 80s, but he's underappreciated. Dexter writes noir. His characters are violent, his plots gripping. Dexter was a newspaper reporter in Philadelphia for a long time before he became a fiction writer, but he has taken that sensibility with him. His fiction lives in the dark alleys, and he manages to imbue his books with a subtle menace. Paris Trout is his best, but the most recent, Train, is quite good, too."
About Stephen Dixon, who was nominated by the Rake, another one of our underrated writers, J. Robert Lennon, writes:
Dixon is always clever, but never precious. He will try anything. He'll write a pornographic story with all the dirty words misspelled ("Milk Is Very Good for You"). He'll write a story with all the dialogue removed, but the dialogue tags left in ("Said"). He'll write a monologue containing half a dozen nested quotes (30, his best novel). He'll write a story about himself losing the National Book Award then fantasizing about winning it ("The Victor"). Never is he doing this to impress you, though you are impressed; he is making the mechanics of the prose answer to the fears and flaws of his characters. He is showing you the comedy of sex, the futility of words, the stratiation of thought, the perils of vanity. Critics have called Dixon difficult, perverted, pretentious. Their hearts are pitifully small. You have to go into a Dixon book the way you'd go into a game of strip poker: ready to end up naked. He gives it to you straight, and means every word. He is the least pretentious living writer.
More about Stephen Dixon
+ Jonathan Lethem on Stephen Dixon
+ An Interview with Dixon
+ Rake's review of Dixon's Old Friends
+ Stephen Dixon reflects on his life's work
+ Dixon's literature map
+ Buy Dixon's latest novel, Phone Rings
Biographies of Maggie Dubris (nominated by Andrew Gallix) describe her as a poet, a musician, a former ambulance driver, and a practicing musician. Of her latest novel, Skels, about a paramedic in 1979 New York, Dubris writes:
When I wrote Skels, I was thinking about what would happen if the ambulance world really was permeated with the works of past writers, and the skels were carrying the consciousnesses of the writers themselves. What would I have done if I had met the greatest poet of all, and been granted the chance to save him. Not from dying, but from his own life.
I want people to read my book and see what I saw. Not what I literally saw but the way it felt in my soul, magical and violent and funny, filled with passion, and like it contained some ancient element that was invisible from the outside. I want them to think about how people who are considered the lowliest by our society can have something wonderful hidden inside them.
According to the Literary Encyclopedia, Stanley Elkin (selected by Rake) "profoundly influenced many avant-garde American and European fiction writers through the example he set as a craftsman ferociously dedicated to his art and to his stylistic innovations, through his counsel in university and writers’ conference settings, though his radical innovations with the possibilities inherent in language, and through his substantial, varied body of fiction, charting the evolution of American middle-class culture from the Great Depression to the beginning of the 1990s."
More about Stanley Elkin
+ Elkin interview in The Paris Review (DNA of Literature)
+ Center for Book Culture: Interview with Elkin
+ "Reading Stanley Elkin" by Rick Moody
+ Audio interviews with Elkin
+ An interesting Washington Post Book World discussion from 2001 about Elkin's Criers and Kibitzers, Kibitzers and Criers
+ Elkin has a spot on the St. Louis Walk of Fame
According to Gwenda Bond (Shaken & Stirred), "Carol Emswhiller has had a fascinating career as a writer, spanning several decades. Now in her eighties, she continues to break down new barriers and is producing exciting work that is unlike anything anyone else is doing. This year alone saw an amazing new story collection I Live With You and a fantastic novel for young adults Mister Boots. Read her immediately."
More about Carol Emshwiller
+ Emshewiller's official site and bibliography
+ Bookslut's interview with Emshewiller
+ Nice profile of her at LCRW
+ Gwenda ponts to the Believer review of Emshwiller's I Live With You
Rake had this to say about Steve Erickson: "Absolutely no one like him, in my opinion. Has a wild imagination and uses fantastic recurring elements in his fiction that are, nontheless, always grounded in (and, in some sense, are manifestations of) common human feelings: lust, grief, loss, fear, desire, and so on."
More about Steve Erickson
+ A thorough page on Erickson, including a biography, bibliography, and links, from the Complete Review
+ More Erickson links
+ Rake's Q&A with Erickson
+ Beatrice's interview with him
+ Erickson's appearance on KCRW's Bookworm to discuss Our Ecstatic Days
+ Erickson's literature map
Poetry International says of Lucía Estrada (nominated by A.M. Correa) that she is "One of the most promising young Colombian poets, Lucía Estrada has published three books of poetry, has been invited to several poetry festivals and her suggestive and mysterious poems have been published in magazines and included in anthologies."
Gwenda Bond has high praise for Jeffrey Ford: "Another writer who consistently hits it out of the park, but whose sheer range seems to have kept him from wider acclaim. He's a brilliant writer of both short stories and novels. His con man-ghost story-mystery, The Girl in the Glass, was one of the best novels I read in 2005. Ford's work is always pitch-perfect and authentic, whether he's writing something set in the present, the recent past or during the Great Depression. Not to mention entertaining as hell."
Luis Fernando Verissimo was selected by A.M. Correa who writes of his novel Borges and the Eternal Orangutans, "Academic arrogance, idol worship (of the fanboy variety), and mysticism figure prominently in this clever mystery. The labrynthine paths of thought taken by Borges and Vogelstein function to both enlighten and distract. Most obviously, the story's sheer wish-fulfillment nature is quite dazzling (for what could one possibly have to say to Jorge Luis Borges?). I also found it a poignant tribute--the writer who saw himself as passive, who believed he did nothing in his life 'but read,' provides the ultimate sage solution."
More about Luis Fernando Verissimo
+ Biography in Portuguese
+ Biography and bibliography (slightly outdated)
+ Borges and the Eternal Orangutans reviewed at the Complete Review
+ Luis Fernando Verissimo's literature map
Some of you may remember Kirby Gann from the Lit Blog Co-op's October discussion of his new book and Gwenda's interview with him at the site. Carrie Frye is still singing his praises and has selected him as one of the most underappreciated writers, saying, "In Our Napoleon in Rags, Gann works language in amazing ways to capture the stories (and varied voices) of the regulars at the Don Quixote, a down-at-heels bar which exists in some parallel Louisville. One of the best books I read this year."
Andrew Gallix suggested British writer Tom Gidley, author of the novel Stunning Lofts. From publisher Metronome's biography: "Tom Gidley was born in 1968 and lives in London. A co-founder of frieze magazine and former member of all-electric bass guitar band Big Bottom, he has exhibited widely over the past fifteen years. His work encompasses a broad range of media, including film installation, sculpture, painting, music and literature. Stunning Lofts is his first novel."
More about Gidley
According to Genevieve of the Australian litblog You Cried For Night, Sonya Hartnett "is slowly receiving the attention she deserves in Australia and Britain, but should be more widely known as time goes by. In general all her titles are worth a look. She tends to be dismissed by some as a dark, Gothic writer for young adults, but should not be as she is a gifted storyteller, often producing tales of misfits or outcasts in spare, powerful prose that nobody should miss."
I found this paragraph in a Guardian profile of her interesting: "Hartnett classifies her books as fitting into the American Southern gothic tradition. The influences of Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner and John Steinbeck are all evident, and Flute's sharply observed narrative in Thursday's Child is reminiscent of Frankie's in Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding. But her books are also firmly in the tradition of great Australian fiction such as Jill Ker Conway's The Road to Coorain and AB Facey's A Fortunate Life, stories where families or individuals struggle against the extremes of nature."
Larry Heinemann served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in 1967-68. He has published three novels, including Paco's Story which won the National Book Award. His short stories and nonfiction have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Playboy, TriQuarterly, and numerous other magazines and journals. He has read, lectured, and taught at writers' workshops, universities, and veterans' gatherings in the U.S., Vietnam, England, China, and the former Soviet Union. Mr. Heinemann has also written a nonfiction book about train travel in contemporary Vietnam.
More about Larry Heinemann
+ Golden Rule Jones' audio review of Heinemann's Black Virgin Mountain
+ A conversation with Heinemann
Steve Mitchelmore writes: "Though Gert Hofmann died 12 years ago, his best novels have only recently been translated into English by his son, the poet Michael Hofmann. They show how a writer found his own way without regard for fashion or fame."
From Lee Rourke: "Stewart Home's anti-narratives rip up and discard the old stuffy notions of literary fiction once and for all. He is disgustingly grotesque and ultimately modern; put simply, a breath of fresh air."
Michel Houellebecq, according to Lee Rourke, deserves more attention because he is "a giant; he is everything a great writer should be: insouciant, bold, crafty and wise. A relentless prophet of doom, unafraid and unhinged--quite possibly the nearest thing we have to genius this minute. The mark where the novel has reached."
From a site dedicated to all things Houellebecq comes this apt description:
Michel Houellebecq is a sort of prophet. He is gifted with the very rare capacity to perceive the world with an unrivaled degree of sensitivity. And he has the talent to convey his perceptions to us. This is what certain people have trouble accepting. They do not want to be told of the world as it is, nor of the suffering of all human beings, torn between their aspirations and reality. With devastating humor, and with lyrical touches capable of reaching the depths of the soul, he creates real characters, who live at the heart of a real world, today’s world.
More about Michel Houellebecq
+ Profile at the Guardian Unlimited and at the Observer
+ KCRW's Bookworm talks with Houellebecq (audio)
+ Houellebecq's books at Powell's
+ John Derbyshire of the National Review reads Houellebecq
+ Rain Taxi review of Houellebecq's H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life
+ Houellebecq's Wikipedia entry
C. Max Magee writes: "Michelle Huneven is a food writer for the LA Weekly who has written two novels. Jamesland, her most recent, is part mystery part character exploration. It's not a murder-mystery, but more a mystery of origins and faith that her characters have to unravel. The book is also a great look at the vast part of LA that is only peripherally affected by Hollywood, and she also, of course, finds room for some luscious descriptions of food."
More about Michelle Huneven
+ The Millions' discussion of Huneven's Jamesland and Max's review
+ Atlantic Monthly review of Jamesland (found at Powell's)
+ An excerpt of Jamesland
+ LAist interview
+ Random House of Canada spotlight
This poet joins the list by way of James Tata. As with all the books James recommends, he says that Isles' debut collection of poems, Ark, has "more faith in authentic emotion than in hollow sophistication." Specifically, he says, "these poems, with their depth of feeling towards the twinned consolations of erotic love and nature, have a rapturous intensity that most poety only gestures towards." Isles served in the Peace Corps and recently won an NEA grant and the 2004 Ruskin Art Club Poetry Award and his work has appeared in Boston Review and Colorado Review.
More about John Isles
+ Isles' poems "(Arcade)" and "(City of Our Making)" in Issue #7 of Electronic Poetry Review
+ An excerpt from Ark, a review, and ordering info from the publisher, the University of Iowa Press
+ A review of Isles' collection at Peace Corps Writers
CAAF nominated this author "because of her remarkable second novel, The Untelling." CAAF cited, in particular, this novel's "incredible writing about family and about the city of Atlanta" and its well-rounded and believable characters. "It's impressive, and it's also a great read." Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, drew as much critical praise as her second. Both have gathered a number of awards, from the Washington Post's Best of the Year list to the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices. She's also been spotted hanging around with a certain Baltimore blogger, taking down Time's Top 100 list.
More about Tayari Jones
UK blogger Steve Mitchelmore directs our attention to this writer. He describes Josipovici as the kind of writer who would attain greater popularity were it not for a "smug provincialism of British culture" frustrating those efforts. He is the author of dozens of short stories and fourteen novels, books on religious topics, literary criticism, creative nonfiction, plays, and even radio dramas. According to Monika Fludernik, Josipovici is more than an "experimental" writer, but one who "presents us with a wide panoply of work that ranges from the sympathetic portrayal of man's loneliness and alienation to the hilarious evocation of everyday misunderstandings."
More about Gabriel Josipovici
"Kapuscinski," C. Max Magee tells us, "is a Polish journalist who has spent much of his life writing for the Polish equivalent of the Associated Press. For over forty years he has covered the world's 'little wars' in places like Africa and Central America. Perhaps because he grew up behind the Iron Curtain, his books do not have that Western 'Us vs. Them' quality. Instead Kapuscinski, with knowledge and heart, introduces his readers to the lost corners of history." Magee recommends The Soccer War, The Shadow of the Sun, and Imperium.
More about Ryszard Kapuscinski
+ Wikipedia entry on Kapuscinski
+ Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette review of The Shadow of the Sun
+ A 1997 interview with Kapuscinski, addresses Imperium
+ A 1987 interview conducted by Bill Buford for Granta
This author comes with a mysterious but enticing recommendation from Sam Jones: "His debut, A Week in Winter (2004), was a clever trap for your conscience. Love to see what he does next." A political thriller set in Eastern Europe, the novel is compared frequently to Nikolai Gogol's The Inspector General. "Landor's direct," Jones says, "and not superficially clever. He also shares Gogol's absurdist humor."
This writer was nominated by Your Pal, the Rake for the list. Lennon has published four novels, The Light of the Falling Stars, The Funnies, On the Night Plain, and Mailman, and a collection of stories. It's this collection of stories, Pieces for the Left Hand, that the Rake singles out for praise. YPTR describes Lennon as "not a prose poet, exactly, but a guy with great skill at miniature narrative." The collection consists of 100 short shorts, its title an echo of Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand. Indeed, Lennon is also a musician and recorded a CD of 100 short songs as a companion piece to the collection. Fascinating stuff, reminding one of a cross between the B-52s and the end of They Might Be Giants' Apollo 18.
More about J. Robert Lennon
+ An excellent review of Pieces at nthposition
+ Lennon's website and his briefly run, but-still-worth-a-read blog
+ The CD that is designed to accompany Pieces (tracks can be streamed here, as well)
+ Lennon reads "The Accursed Items" in Act V of This American Life (at about 51:30--you've got to hear this)
This author was recommended by Dan Wickett. According to Dan, Magnuson moved from writing about an Ohio "repo worker for a rental agency" in his first novel, The Right Man for the Job, to evangelists and weathermen in rural Wisconsin in his second, The Fire Gospels. Magnuson then published two works of creative nonfiction back-to-back. Lummox is, according to Dan, "as politically incorrect as humanly possible and all the better for it." Magnuson's most recent nonfiction is Heft on Wheels, which "follows Mike's lifestyle change from being a slightly overbearing heavyweight drinker, to an extremely lean, non-drinking, non-smoking (though maybe still a bit overbearing) cyclist." Dan's also happy to repeat a rumor that Magnuson's "working on fiction again, which is great for readers of damn entertaining literary fiction!"
Andrew Gallix of 3:AM Magazine says of Tom McCarthy's novel, Remainder, "It's simply the best thing I've read all year." Hit that last link to French-publisher Metronome Press's site for a plot summary that will astonish you with its brilliance. McCarthy is also the general secretary of the International Necronautical Society, which is dedicated to exactly what their name suggests. Be sure and read the manifesto.
Dan Wickett says that all three of Erin McGraw's short story collections--Lies of the Saints, The Good Life, and Bodies at Sea--are "excellent," but her 2002 novel, The Baby Tree, is "nearly perfect . . . She should have many, many readers." McGraw teaches at Ohio State University. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction appear everywhere from The Atlantic to The Georgia Review.
This author shares the distinction of being doubly recommended with only one other author in this list. Visitors to either Gwenda Bond's and CAAF's sites know they have been effusive in their praise of McHugh. All the more so since McHugh's most recent publication--a short story collection titled Mothers and Other Monsters--was just recently shortlisted as a finalist for the Story Prize. Bond calls McHugh a "subtle, precise writer" whose "novels and short stories often borrow from Eastern or other multicultural settings and they always do it beautifully, focusing in on and illuminating heartbreakingly real characters." In her recommendation, CAAF calls the collection a "FREAKING KNOCKOUT." Twice. McHugh's Hugo- and Nebula-nominated novel China Mountain Zhang is also highly recommended.
Mark Sarvas of The Elegant Variation recommends McManus whose debut novel, Bitter Milk, has gathered favorable attention from Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly. Sarvas also informs us that McManus is the youngest winner (in 2000, at age 22!) of the Whiting Writers' Award. McManus is also the author of two short story collections, Stop Breakin Down and Born on a Train.
This author, and only one other, is doubly recommended by Mark Sarvas and Ron Hogan. Sarvas calls her "ambitious, smart and witty." Hogan recognizes that the terrific reviews her novel, Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, received might make the "underrated" label "not entirely accurate," but recommends her anyway, because "she's not as famous as she ought to be." This novel is Millett's fourth. Her others include the irresistibly titled George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance and Everyone's Pretty.
C. Max Magee covers the bases in his recommendation of this author: "None other than Gabriel Garcia Marquez called him 'one of the greatest writers of our time.' This Colombian author's life's work has focused, for the most part, on a single character, the incomparable Maqroll the Gaviero ["lookout"]. Several years ago he wrote seven novellas about Maqroll, a seaman who is one of literature's great wanderers, which have been collected as The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. If you thirst for adventure and mysterious characters with great emotional depth, read Maqroll."
More about Alvaro Mutis
+ Wiki entry on Mutis
+ Interview with Mutis at BOMB Magazine
+ An English translation of Mutis's poem "Tequila" in AGNI
+ New York Review of Books's page on the collected Maqroll works
+ Max answers the question "Who is Maqroll?" in greater detail
James Tata says of this author's collection, Living with Saints: "A book of short stories whose humor--going against the contemporary trend of shallow irony--is full of warmth, though never stinting on the pain that makes such humor necessary."
This author comes recommended by Gwenda Bond. The first book in Park's most recent fantasy series, A Princess of Roumania, has gathered some high praise. "It's not what you're thinking though," Bond writes. "Park takes the conventions of high fantasy and darkens them, deepens them in a tale in which our world is a fiction created to conceal the princess of an alterate Romania; he masterfully draws his characters, dipping into and out of their points of view seamlessly." As if that's not enough, Bond informs us, "One of the main characters even becomes a dog! You can't beat that." Comparisons to Pullman's His Dark Materials series are regular occurrences in reviews of Park's latest effort.
More about Paul Park
+ An interview with Paul Park (a good read)
+ A science-fiction short titled "The Tourist"
+ Henry at Crooked Timber says Roumania is a "modern classic"
+ Review of one of Park's science-fiction novels, Celestis (scroll down)
This author has published a collection of essays titled The Hottest Water in Chicago: Notes of a Native Daughter. "I've always felt," says recommender James Tata, "that one of the reasons the African American essayistic tradition in American letters is so strong--Du Bois, Ellison, Baldwin come immediately to mind--is that all you have to do to get material if you're black is to walk out your front door; America harshly provides the rest. Pemberton mines her experiences and her literary tradition for essays of warmth, intelligence, and wit." Pemberton is a professor at Wesleyan University.
More about Gayle Pemberton
+ Review of Hottest Water
This author's debut story collection, The Language of Elk, will be published soon and, in a word from recommender Dan Wickett, the collection is "fantastic." Percy is a recent graduate from the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and has been placing stories all over the map from Pindeldyboz to the next issue of The Paris Review. In 2002, he won The Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award for his story "Falling." Wickett tells us that Percy is "just finishing revisions on his first novel." One to watch, as they say.
James Tata says the stories in Pittalwala's collection, Dear Paramount Pictures, "run the gamut from humor to tragedy. The title story still makes me laugh after repeated readings. The last story, 'House of Cards,' still haunts." A graduate of Iowa's writing program in 1995, Pittalwala has published stories in Confrontation, Blue Mesa Review, and Seattle Review, among others. In 2004, he won the Gival Press Short Story Award for "Legacy."
This author's novel, The People of Paper, grabbed the attention of CAAF earlier this year. She called it "one of those books that makes you feel like there are 1,000 more ways to think about what a book can do than you were previously aware of--a tremendously exciting debut. And how old is Plascencia? Like 12?" Turns out, he's actually 29, according to his bio page at publisher McSweeney's site. Still, the experimentation on the page Plascencia displays and the gorgeous and careful production the text received makes this book one to pick up and this writer another one to watch.
More about Salvador Plascencia
+ CAAF and YPTR read TPoP and e-mail their impressions--Slate Breakfast Table-style--back and forth. (Here's the link to the category at Tingle Alley. Scroll to the bottom or start here.)
+ A profile in LA Weekly
+ A review of TPoP in the SFGate
This writer, says scarecrow's Lee Rourke, "is the forgotten gem of the British experimentalists. Forget B.S. Johnson: why, oh why, isn't there a Biography of her remarkable life?" Before her death in 1973, Quin wrote four "mouth-wateringly beautiful, wonderful books": Tripticks, Passage, Three, and Berg. This last was made into the 1989 film Killing Dad.
Mark Sarvas writes that Jim Ruland's "twisted but humane debut collection, Big Lonesome, stands conventional storytelling on its head in story after fine story." Ruland is the recipient of an NEA grant and has been published in McSweeney's. Readers in Los Angeles may recognize Ruland as the host of Vermin on the Mount, a regular reading series.
More about Jim Ruland
+ Small Spiral Notebook's interview with Ruland
+ Ruland's piece for NPR on teaching a writing course aimed at veterans
+ INK POT's interview with Ruland
+ "Kessler Has No Lucky Pants" in Barcelona Review
"Everyone should be reading him," says Gwenda Bond of Ryman. "He has profound things to say about the world in which we all find ourselves at the moment, and what may happen next. His most recent novel, Air (or Have Not Have), is not only one of the best pieces of speculative fiction I've ever read, but of literary fiction as well. Ryman's work has been consistently brave and mind-blowing and he deserves to be as well-known as Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, or Neal Stephenson." Air won the 2005 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.