California’s San Mateo County is “seeking nominations for poet laureate, someone who can act as an ambassador for literary arts.” Do you have what it takes?
Recently, it seemed hard to find a book not blurbed by Gary Shteyngart. He did blurb 150 books in the past decade. Yet now the author has decided to mostly retire from blurbing, he announced in The New Yorker. “Literature can and will go on without my mass blurbing. Perhaps it may even improve.” Pair with: Our own Bill Morris’s essay on whether or not to blurb.
It’s not often that a writer has an essay collection and a debut novel come out in the space of a few months, but that’s exactly the situation of Year in Reading alum Roxane Gay, whose novel An Untamed State and collection Bad Feminist are both getting published this year. At Bookforum, Margaret Weppler reads An Untamed State, which displays, she writes, “a staggering sense of strength, confidence and integrity.”
This week, our own Lydia Kiesling took part in The Morning News Tournament of Books, where she adjudicated a showdown between Scott McClanahan’s Hill William and Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being. Who went on to the next round: the trans-Pacific odyssey, or the tale of West Virginia? (You could also read our own Edan Lepucki’s Tournament contribution from last year, or else read our own Nick Moran’s Year in Reading piece on Scott McClanahan.)
Do you live in Miami-Dade County? Do you want to get involved in the region’s burgeoning literature and poetry scene? If so you’ll want to check out the O, Miami Information Session on Wednesday, February 27th. The meeting is meant “to inform local Miami poets of different opportunities for participating in the 2013 O, Miami Poetry Festival.”
At Page-Turner, our own Mark O’Connell notes “a thrilling obscenity” in the works of Gonçalo M. Tavares, a Portuguese writer whose recent novel, Jerusalem, depicts a character with schizophrenia. A lesser-known symptom of the illness, apparently, is a tendency to treat inanimate objects like conscious (and social) beings. (We wrote about Tavares back in March.)
“But the civil rights movement didn’t stop in Selma.” In a follow-up to March, his award-winning graphic novel trilogy, Congressman John Lewis will have a new series published later this year by Abrams ComicArt, according to Time. Run, which will also be a multi-book series, will pick up where March left off. Pair with: The Millions‘s review of March.