Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bookish things...

As avid bookish folk, I thought you would like to know about the following:

Writer Sarah Salway author of the novel Tell Me Everything, a favorite of mine, will have a new book of poems published by Pindrop Press in March 2012. I don't know what it's called, but it is bound to be juicy. Check out her happily sensual Love and Stationary here.

Lucy Caldwell is an Irish novelist (Where They Were Missed, The Meeting Point) and playwright (Carnival, The Luthier, Guardians, Leaves, Notes to Future Self) whose work has been roundly praised in the English press but, I must admit, was unknown to me. Her The Meeting Point has won the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize, a prestigious and generous award for young writers given out
annually on the poet's birthday. Now how did she write all of that before age thirty? This, her second novel, concerns a minister and his family, who move to Bahrain and have the certainties that have formed the basis of their lives shaken. I think I will have to become acquainted with her work.

The Bookslut informed me of an event in October about the author Irmgard Keun at Deutsches Haus, which does programming about German language and culture. The panel discussion and short film concerned the life and work of author Irmgard Keun. Who was she, you ask? Keun was German, born at the turn of the last century, and wrote fiction about her society and women coming of age through the Weimar years (between the wars), continuing as the Nazis rose to power. Keun's books, e.g. - The Artificial Silk Girl, After Midnight, Child of all Nations - both gave a less wholesome picture of women than the Nazi's desired and was highly critical of their regime. Consequently, her books were burned and Keun escaped to Holland. However, she missed her home and eventually snuck back in with a fake passport during the war. She survived and eventually wrote again under the name Charlotte Tralow, but without her initial success. The speakers: critic Ruth Franklin, literature professor Maria Tartar, and translator Michael Hoffmann, each read from her novels, and discussed their views on her writing and why it may have fallen from favor. It won't come as a great surprise that the event ended with my buying The Artificial Silk Girl and my friend Radio Woman buying another of her books. We'll trade when we're done. Thanks Bookslut, for the great recommendation! Anything else I should know about coming up?

James Wood had a wonderful essay in the November 7th issue of The New Yorker entitled "Shelf Life." It was an appreciation of his late father-in-law, written after emptying his large library. If you enjoy, as I do, features like Thomas's Shelf Esteem, through which we can imagine the lives of others through their bookshelves, this might be considered a more sober treatment of the same theme.

And finally, Chamber Four would like us all to know that they have just released the second issue of their very cool literary magazine, with lots of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. It can be downloaded in e-book format, if that's the way you do things.


Barbara said...

I am reminded to check out Tell Me Everything which is on my Amazon Wishlist per your recommendation long ago. Just as I am bemoaning the fact that I will never get to all the books I want to read, I read the lovely James Wood essay where he describes the reasoning behind his father-in-law's purchase of more books than he could ever read. I am now at peace with my affliction....

Ted said...

Barbara - It's a great essay, isn't it?