ESSENTIAL READING

Five Questions for Sofia Quintero

 

As part of our KidsRead program, author Sofia Quintero visited the Center to talk about her book Show and Prove with students from The Academy for Young Writers in Brooklyn. We asked Sofia a few questions about why she became a young adult fiction writer, her strategies for getting into the perspective of a teenager, and the use of slang in her novels. 

 

"I began writing for young adults as a young adult myself. I wrote a full-length novel when I was about fourteen, based on my block in the Bronx. Virtually everyone in my neighborhood made an appearance, from my best friend to her annoying brother, and even people I didn’t know very well or like at all." READ 

An Interview with David L. Ulin

on his new book Ear to the Ground 


Earthquakes, Hollywood, and money, money, money—David. L. Ulin's Ear to the Ground is an entertaining satire that never loses its heart. Originally published as a serial novel in The Los Angeles Reader in the 90's, the book has recently been released by Unnamed Press. Here, Ulin discusses co-writing the novel with Paul Kolsby, serial novels as an art form, and the thrilling nature of earthquakes.

 

"A serial novel is a strange beast because it appears in print, but piece by piece, and I wanted to be able to present the book as a whole. But it wasn't until Paul called me a couple of years ago to ask if I still had the novel that something more concrete began to emerge. We read the book and got excited about the possibility of it coming out. Then we began to see how that might work." READ 

New Event! 
Jean Findlay: Chasing Lost Time

We're pleased to announce this new event featuring Jean Findlay, great-great niece of legendary translator C.K. Scott Moncrieff. Findlay will discuss her new biography of her enigmatic uncle and his work translating Marcel Proust

 

Join us on Wednesday, June 8th at 7pm. Click here for more information on the event and to RSVP. 

 

A Tribute to Edith Grossman 

 

If you've read Spanish-language literature, chances are you've read an Edith Grossman translation. From Cervantes to Gabriel García Márquez to Mario Vargas Llosa to Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Grossman is a chameleon, able to take on the voice of an author and transform their writing into a stunning work of art for the English-speaking world.

 

On April 30th, in celebration of her 80th birthday, Grossman was fêted by her colleagues as part of the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, in partnership with the Cervantes Institute. We'd like to continue the celebration by sharing with you some of the tributes she received. READ

Constant Cravings
by Jennifer Haigh


Jennifer Haigh's new novel, Heat and Light, takes place in Bakerton, PA where alcoholism and meth addiction are commonplace. In this book list she picks three story collections and four novels that delve into the topic of addiction in its many forms. 

"My character Dick Devlin worked in the coal mines until his job disappeared; then he opened a tavern. His younger son is a recovering addict who works as a counselor in a methadone clinic, and his older son, a corrections officer in a prison full of drug offenders—an entire family working in the addictions business. In Bakerton, as everywhere, drinking and drugging are baked into the culture. For the addict and everyone around him, the consequences are profound." READ MORE

The Book That Made Me A Reader
Sara Paretsky on Louisa May Alcott and James Joyce


What do little women and a young man have to do with Sara Paretsky's reading habits? Find out in this new edition of The Book That Made Me a Reader by the creator of the iconic V. I. Warshawski. 

 

"I can’t remember the first books I read, although I do remember the first words I wasn’t able to sound out: 'city' and 'Penelope.' Perhaps I was reading a child’s history of the Trojan War. My older brother taught me to read and write as he was learning those things, so I don’t remember beginning, I only remember being in the middle."  READ MORE

An excerpt from Ways to Disappear 
by Idra Novey


What happens when a famous author disappears up an almond tree with just a suitcase and a cigar? In the case of Idra Novey's much-buzzed-about new novel Ways to Disappear that means a translator, the author's children, a loan shark, and even the country of Brazil start looking for her. In this excerpt, we get a clue to the infamous Beatriz Yagoda's whereabouts. 

"The esteemed literary publisher Roberto Rocha liked to test his steaks to see if the meat was worth what he had paid for it. The test had to do with the density of the smoke once the steaks began to sizzle. With the works of fiction he selected for his press, he tested for density as well, for something tender in the middle yet still heavy enough to blacken the air." READ MORE

How Walter White Can Make You a Better Writer 

by Martha Southgate 

 

"I’m proud to admit that I was and am an obsessive fan of Breaking Bad. When Walt, Jesse and all their friends left us on that Sunday night three years ago, I was left bereft for a while. Sundays just weren’t the same without those guys."

 

What can blue meth and tighty-whities teach you about writing fiction? In this new craft post, acclaimed writer Martha Southgate uses one of her favorite TV shows to illustrate some helpful writing tools to have in your arsenal. 

 



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