The art really is in isolating yourself and letting as few things into your head as possible. To only admit those things into your head that come from a direction where no one else ever looks. That is the difficult thing.
Check out this video of Kevin Wilson, author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth, on Book Talk on WYPL (Memphis). Yes, a video of a radio show. I’ll admit I got a teeny bit choked up hearing Kevin describe his baby’s reaction to his book:
Today at Harper Perennial, we’re celebrating the release of Blue Boy!
Blue Boy is the new novel from Harper editor Rakesh Satyal. You may not know Rakesh, but he’s probably edited some of your favorite books (his authors include Paulo Coelho, Armistead Maupin, and Clive Barker), and now he’s written his own. Chuck Palahniuk said that Blue Boy “shows us a world too funny and sad and sweet to be based on anything but the truth.” Scott Heim called it “a wild, rollicking, bittersweet book” and said that “for a debut novelist, Rakesh Satyal is uncommonly bold and precise, and his narrator — hilarious, gay, Indian, stumblingly adolescent Kiran — is unforgettable.”
Have you heard of Posterboy? Even if you haven’t, if you live in New York City, you’ve probably seen his work:
Pomp & Circumstance magazine is throwing a party for him this Friday at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn where he’ll be reimagining ads (including an ad for us). So if you want to see him work his magic on a Harper Perennial ad (as well as ads for other companies), here’s the info you need:
Pomp & Circumstance presents Poster Boy
3rd Ward – 195 MORGANAVENUEBROOKLYN NY 11237
Open to public 8 pm – 12 am
You can also check out this pretty sweet video invitation if you are so inclined:
Frank Huyler’s new novel, Right of Thirst, takes place in an unnamed impoverished country. His main character, a successful doctor, has traveled to this country to assist in earthquake relief, but soon finds things in this underdeveloped land are not what they seem.
Frank’s interest in the issues of poverty and wealth, the ethics of intervention, and the cultural differences that divide us doesn’t end with the book. In fact, he’s donating a portion of his proceeds to a group called ProSorata that helps the residents of Sorata, Bolivia, obtain medical care. Check out the video below to learn more about ProSorata, and check out Right of Thirst, on sale today!
Lately I’ve been enjoying The Second Pass, a cool new book site founded by former Harper editor John Williams (who edited one of my favorite books of all time, Grab Onto Me Tightly As If I Knew the Way). There’s a blog and articles and all the usual stuff you’d expect, but the best feature is one called The Shelf, where readers submit their short (75-125 words) book reviews. It’s perfect for when you don’t have time to read an entire review, or when you just want to know if a book is awesome or not in 30 seconds or less.
You may remember a while back that I posted about the artist Marc Johns, who’s definitely a kindred spirit of our author Andre Jordan. We are big fans of Marc (one of us even bought a print from him), and are excited that he’s now got a book out:
(Thanks, Shelf Awareness, for this happy bit of news) —
Michael Chabon‘s first novel (and Olive Edition!), The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, has been made into a movie! With Peter Sarsgaard (one of my top celebrity boyfriends) playing the larger-than-life Cleveland, Mena Suvari as quirky Phlox, and Jon Foster as Art, Chabon’s story of post-graduation summer brims with debauchery, sex, drugs, friendships, and the requisite finding-thyself-in-the-world wandering all college graduates face, without being saccharine or sentimental. This book has more one-liners than anybody I’ve ever met in a bar. I would date this book if I could. That is, until Peter Sarsgaard starts returning my calls.
Today would have been the 100th birthday of John Fante, author of Ask the Dust. Read about his centennial and what’s happened to his classic novel since publication here, and don’t forget that we’ll be publishing 86’d, the new novel from John’s son Dan, in the fall. BeatTheDust.com currently has a great Dan Fante retrospective up, including an interview where Dan discusses his father. Hopefully those links will fulfill all your Fante needs.
In our latest episode of Olive TV, Lee Konstantinou, author of Pop Apocalypse, discusses the end of the world, post-irony (his dissertation is called “Wipe That Smirk Off Your Face: Postironic Fiction and the Public Sphere), and where we’re headed in 2009.
Attention everybody: This fall, our friends at It Books are publishing Twitter Wit, the very first official twitter book.
Attention booksellers and librarians: We want your tweets!
Nick Douglas, the editor of Twitter Wit, will select some of the funniest and most creative bookseller and librarian tweets to be published in the book. To enter, all you have to do is email your best tweets to ItBooks AT harpercollins.com (replace AT with the little @ symbol) by April 30, 2009.
Stewart O’Nan called it “brilliant.” Ben Fountain said it was “one of the finest novels [he’d] read in years.” Tom Brokaw called it “a book to treasure.” If those accolades don’t intrigue you, maybe this video about Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler will. Learn about the inspiration behind the book as author Frank discusses his novel, his similarities (and differences) to the protagonist, his expatriate chilhood, and his experience as a writer.
I’m a little late jumping on the Jeffrey Ford fan-wagon, but I recently read his latest and greatest — The Shadow Year — and have since run out of people I haven’t raved about this book to yet. Picture Long Island in the 70’s (think early Pete & Pete, and then subtract 20 years) — right down to the Mr. Softee ice cream truck that starts out the story. The Shadow Year follows the middle brother in a family of three, through a chrysalis summer and into the next year, navigating growing up with all the trappings of suburbia. Then, a peeping tom starts prowling the neighborhood, the school librarian snaps and takes to wandering around the football field at all hours, and a classmate disappears. The narrator and his older brother, Jim, keep track of these events in “Botch Town,” a model of their ‘hood with clay figures representing their neighbors, friends, family, and sworn school enemies. But when the brothers discover their kid sister, Mary (an eight-year-old who smokes cigarettes behind the bushes in the yard) has a knack for quietly rearranging the figures — changes which are soon reflected in actual events — The Shadow Year takes on an entirely new dimension of foreboding and intensity. These are kids faced with brutal stuff – murder, alcoholism, puberty, a little sister with imaginary friends who pre-dates Miss Cleo, and a possible homicidal maniac on the loose – and Ford is pitch-perfect processing the traumas through the eye of a sixth grader wading the vague waters between childhood and adolescence. With overtones of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides and Tom Perotta’s Little Children for the wide, wonderful scope of conjuring suburbia, The Shadow Year has also been compared to Ray Bradbury, Harper Lee, and Tobias Wolff.
And look at that sweet old car on the cover! For a prize copy of this book, be the first of 3 people to comment on this post. If you like being really thorough, check Library Love Fest’s radio show of Ford discussing The Shadow Year with one of my favorite people, library maven and fellow ice-cream cake enthusiast Virginia Stanley.
No? Well, that won’t take long to remedy. On occasion of the paperback publication of his New York Times Bestselling book America’s Hidden History, the inestimable Kenneth C. Davis has started blogging “untold tales” of American history over at his new website. Right from the start, we’re treated to the story of the first woman in America to have a permanent statue erected in her honor. She is depicted holding a hatchet and a handful of scalps. America rocks.