I've been caught up in all three lately, thus my posts have been few. We took a mini trip to a train yard for my youngest who's still loves trains, though I can see his passion for them is nearing the end and we went to Charleston, a city that we all love. The presendential campaign has been exciting me (Obama--love his economic rescue plan for the middle class) and driving me crazy with outrage ("No. No, ma'am.
He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements." That is response to a woman who said Obama was an Arab. As if the two were mutually exclusive. What an outrageously disrespectful and dehumanizing thing to say. You cannot pander to the few U.S. citizens that are ignorant and full of fear and hate and expect to come off sounding intelligent and presidential.)
I've read a few books lately, mostly novels and some stuck out for me:
Cost by Roxana Robinson was amazing. She's an elegant writer and one of my favorites. I usually prefer her short stories to her novels but this novel wowed me. Set on the coast of Maine and on the streets of New York, it centers around a staid New England family and shows that family's reaction to one of its own trying to survive with a heroin addiction. The novel is affecting and beautifully written. I was particularly impressed with Robinson's ability to get inside the addict's head.
I also read "Something for the Pain," by Dr. Paul Austin. I met Paul briefly at Bread Loaf in 2006 and when I heard him read I thought he was funny and down to earth. "Something for the Pain" is a series of connected essays on working as an E.R. doctor. It's enlightening, impressively honest, and it changed the way I see E.R. doctors and their role as emergency caretakers.
At present I'm reading "The Tenderness of Wolves" which is blowing me away. It's evident the writer is also a screenwriter as this novel would easily be captured on the big screen. Penny is a visual writer, a visceral writer and this novel is amazing in its detail, setting, characterization and premise. Love it, love it.
- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.