1. In our interview with author Karen Russell we discussed how her South Florida childhood influenced her bestselling book Swamplandia! about a gator-wrestling amusement park:

"We did go on annual field trips to watch alligator wrestling when I was a kid, so I’m sure that had some kind of psychological impact. … I think people from different regions probably have that relationship to who knows what, like a deer or a cow, I don’t know. But the alligator for me was the emblem of everything sublime and ancient and mysterious and other, so it had a lot of significance for me as a writer, and I just tried to translate that for readers."

photo by coolbriere via flickr

    In our interview with author Karen Russell we discussed how her South Florida childhood influenced her bestselling book Swamplandia! about a gator-wrestling amusement park:

    "We did go on annual field trips to watch alligator wrestling when I was a kid, so I’m sure that had some kind of psychological impact. … I think people from different regions probably have that relationship to who knows what, like a deer or a cow, I don’t know. But the alligator for me was the emblem of everything sublime and ancient and mysterious and other, so it had a lot of significance for me as a writer, and I just tried to translate that for readers."

    photo by coolbriere via flickr

  2. alligator

    swamplandia

    everglades

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    fiction

    karen russell

  1. In his novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish writer Colm Toíbín imagines Mary’s life 20 years after the crucifixion. She is struggling to understand why some people believe Jesus is the son of God, and weighed down by the guilt she feels wondering what she might have done differently to alter — or ease — her son’s fate.
Imagining such violent events as the crucifixion, he says, “is really, really serious work. In other words, you have to go in and pretend … it’s happening now and go into absolute detail, so you’re almost working in the same way maybe a painter is working … [except] that it’s occurring word by word, sentence by sentence.”

You can hear Toíbín’s full interview here
The novel is now out in paperback.


image: Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice. Photograph: Mauro Magliani/Alinari Archives/Corbis via guardian

    In his novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish writer Colm Toíbín imagines Mary’s life 20 years after the crucifixion. She is struggling to understand why some people believe Jesus is the son of God, and weighed down by the guilt she feels wondering what she might have done differently to alter — or ease — her son’s fate.

    Imagining such violent events as the crucifixion, he says, “is really, really serious work. In other words, you have to go in and pretend … it’s happening now and go into absolute detail, so you’re almost working in the same way maybe a painter is working … [except] that it’s occurring word by word, sentence by sentence.”

    You can hear Toíbín’s full interview here

    The novel is now out in paperback.

    image: Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice. Photograph: Mauro Magliani/Alinari Archives/Corbis via guardian

  2. jesus

    mary

    the testament of mary

    colm toibin

    religion

    fiction

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    books

  1. “Lorrie Moore isn’t quite a household name. This was news to me, because I thought that, given that she’s the kind of writer who’s published in The New Yorker and profiled in The New York Times, most culture vultures would know who she is. But, over the past couple of weeks when I mentioned her new book, Bark, in conversations, both in the halls of academe and over meals with friends, I mostly got blank stares. (One smarty confused her with that other great literary “Lorrie” — the late Laurie Colwin — whose short stories and novels are also essential reading.)
Maybe Lorrie Moore’s muzzy kind of literary fame is due to the fact she doesn’t publish a lot. A warp speed wonder like Joyce Carol Oates publishes 20 books in the time it takes for Moore to crank out a story, but she’s almost always worth the wait.”
-Maureen Corrigan 

photo via etsy

    Lorrie Moore isn’t quite a household name. This was news to me, because I thought that, given that she’s the kind of writer who’s published in The New Yorker and profiled in The New York Times, most culture vultures would know who she is. But, over the past couple of weeks when I mentioned her new book, Bark, in conversations, both in the halls of academe and over meals with friends, I mostly got blank stares. (One smarty confused her with that other great literary “Lorrie” — the late Laurie Colwin — whose short stories and novels are also essential reading.)

    Maybe Lorrie Moore’s muzzy kind of literary fame is due to the fact she doesn’t publish a lot. A warp speed wonder like Joyce Carol Oates publishes 20 books in the time it takes for Moore to crank out a story, but she’s almost always worth the wait.

    -Maureen Corrigan

    photo via etsy

  2. short stories

    bark

    lorrie moore

    fiction

    maureen corrigan

    reivew

  1. Posted on 15 April, 2013

    447 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from livros-books

    As they get ready to announce the Pulitzers, over at The Atlantic Wire our beloved book critic Maureen Corrigan reflects on the upheaval over last year’s awards. Along with the novelist Michael Cunningham and editor Susan Larson, Maureen was one of the jurors for the 2012 fiction prize. They passed on their recommendations to the Pulitzer board (which has final say) and were as shocked as the rest of us to learn there would be no prize awarded that year for fiction.
"We Need A Fiction Pulitzer In 2013":

Corrigan told me, “It was a terrible day last year. I think my fellow judges and I are cautiously optimistic that the board will complete its job this year; otherwise we probably all wish the Pulitzer anniversary speeds by as quickly and painlessly as possible. It’s so crucial that extraordinary writing be recognized and brought to the attention of a wider audience and prizes like the Pulitzer can do that.” 
There were a couple of high points to hang onto, though. As much as she still feels disappointed about the failure to choose a winner, the reading experience itself was wonderful, Corrigan explained, the sort of thing she’d yearned for in grad school, “like being in the most intense and tiniest book club,” she said. “We did clash and argue, but God, we took it seriously. That’s the part that really made me angry: We heard when everyone else did that there would be no prize, and that there would be no explanation. I think if you don’t give out the prize, you have to give a reason.”

UPDATE: Full list of Pulitzer winners here.

    As they get ready to announce the Pulitzers, over at The Atlantic Wire our beloved book critic Maureen Corrigan reflects on the upheaval over last year’s awards. Along with the novelist Michael Cunningham and editor Susan Larson, Maureen was one of the jurors for the 2012 fiction prize. They passed on their recommendations to the Pulitzer board (which has final say) and were as shocked as the rest of us to learn there would be no prize awarded that year for fiction.

    "We Need A Fiction Pulitzer In 2013":

    Corrigan told me, “It was a terrible day last year. I think my fellow judges and I are cautiously optimistic that the board will complete its job this year; otherwise we probably all wish the Pulitzer anniversary speeds by as quickly and painlessly as possible. It’s so crucial that extraordinary writing be recognized and brought to the attention of a wider audience and prizes like the Pulitzer can do that.” 

    There were a couple of high points to hang onto, though. As much as she still feels disappointed about the failure to choose a winner, the reading experience itself was wonderful, Corrigan explained, the sort of thing she’d yearned for in grad school, “like being in the most intense and tiniest book club,” she said. “We did clash and argue, but God, we took it seriously. That’s the part that really made me angry: We heard when everyone else did that there would be no prize, and that there would be no explanation. I think if you don’t give out the prize, you have to give a reason.”

    UPDATE: Full list of Pulitzer winners here.

  2. The Atlantic Wire

    Maureen Corrigan

    The Pulitzers

    Fiction

  1. Novelist Mohsin Hamid, who lives in Lahore, Pakistan, talks to Terry Gross about living in cities with a reputation for violence:

In a way, I think if you live in a city or a place where violence is common, then it perhaps doesn’t matter so much if the violence is the likelihood [of] somebody [who’s] going to mug you or attack you in your house or they’re going to blow you up in your barber shop. Violent cities, people who live in violent cities, find a way — as New Yorkers did 30 or 40 years ago — they find a way to just carry on. But you’re stressed out. You’re worried, you know. There’s times when they, for example, will turn off all the cell phone service in Lahore and you can’t make a phone call because they’re scared [that] on a particular religious holiday somebody will use a cell phone to detonate a bomb or coordinate a terrorist attack. You know, that’s freaky when those things happen. In fact, once recently we had a hospital emergency where my father was unwell and we had to take him to hospital but we had no mobile phones. We couldn’t call his doctor, you know. These things happen in daily life and, yeah, it’s upsetting and unsettling.”

Image via Dirty Old 1970s New York City

    Novelist Mohsin Hamid, who lives in Lahore, Pakistan, talks to Terry Gross about living in cities with a reputation for violence:

    In a way, I think if you live in a city or a place where violence is common, then it perhaps doesn’t matter so much if the violence is the likelihood [of] somebody [who’s] going to mug you or attack you in your house or they’re going to blow you up in your barber shop. Violent cities, people who live in violent cities, find a way — as New Yorkers did 30 or 40 years ago — they find a way to just carry on. But you’re stressed out. You’re worried, you know. There’s times when they, for example, will turn off all the cell phone service in Lahore and you can’t make a phone call because they’re scared [that] on a particular religious holiday somebody will use a cell phone to detonate a bomb or coordinate a terrorist attack. You know, that’s freaky when those things happen. In fact, once recently we had a hospital emergency where my father was unwell and we had to take him to hospital but we had no mobile phones. We couldn’t call his doctor, you know. These things happen in daily life and, yeah, it’s upsetting and unsettling.”

    Image via Dirty Old 1970s New York City

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Mohsin Hamid

    How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia

    Books

    Fiction

    Lahore

    Pakistan

    New York City

  1. A dark and stormy night, an isolated manor house and a knock at the door all play a part in Sadie Jones’ delicious romp of a novel. Set in Edwardian England, it tracks a noble but cash-strapped family whose lavish dinner plans go awry when they’re asked to shelter a crowd of refugees.

    A dark and stormy night, an isolated manor house and a knock at the door all play a part in Sadie Jones’ delicious romp of a novel. Set in Edwardian England, it tracks a noble but cash-strapped family whose lavish dinner plans go awry when they’re asked to shelter a crowd of refugees.

  2. sadie jones

    the uninvited guests

    mystery

    fiction

    lit

  1. Maureen Corrigan picks five mysteries you should read this summer: ” All of the following mysteries are written by veterans of the form. Most are part of long-running series; all are standouts, either because of their distinctive literary delights or because of ingenious variations on familiar plots and characters.”
(via 5 New Mysteries Return To The Scene Of The Crime : NPR)

    Maureen Corrigan picks five mysteries you should read this summer: ” All of the following mysteries are written by veterans of the form. Most are part of long-running series; all are standouts, either because of their distinctive literary delights or because of ingenious variations on familiar plots and characters.”

    (via 5 New Mysteries Return To The Scene Of The Crime : NPR)

  2. mysteries

    books

    fiction

  1. I would probably have to say that reading fiction — those stories fill the space that other people might use religious stories for. The bulk of what I know about human life I’ve gotten from novels. And I think the thing about novels that make them important to the people who love them is that there’s always another perspective.

    — Tom Perrotta on fiction vs. religion

  2. tom perrotta

    the leftovers

    fiction

    religion

  1. When things get too comfortable and things get too safe, I get the feeling like I’m smothering. It’s like somebody’s burying me in feathers.

    — Writer Harry Crews died on Wednesday at the age of 76. He had a hard life and didn’t made it any easier for the characters in his novels.

  2. harry crews

    writing

    lit

    fiction

  1. Dirt is the price you pay for a place being interesting.

    — Maureen Corrigan, Two Books That Delight in New York City’s Dirt

  2. maureen corrigan

    new york city

    fiction

    lit

  1. Every book better be fully intimate, it better be all you have. I’m obviously not shy because I’m going to talk your ear off today but I’m private, which is different. But the idea for me to be truly intimate – for me to be naked and raw – the fiction allows me to do what I need to do emotionally. And with this book, certain stories were looking at things – it was a change for me to look at things that were right there.

    — Nathan Englander on writing fiction.

  2. Nathan Englander

    writing

    fiction

    lit

  1. I have a friend who reads the obituaries looking for fresh widowers before someone else gets to them. And all she requires is a penis and a pulse.

    — Hilma Wolitzer’s finely observed comedy of manners follows the romantic misadventures of recently widowed 62-year-old Edward Schuyler, who reenters the dating pool with a splash.

  2. hilma wolitzer

    an available man

    lit

    fiction

  1. Maureen Corrigan’s 10 Favorite Novels of 2011 View in High-Res

    Maureen Corrigan’s 10 Favorite Novels of 2011

  2. best of

    2011

    fiction

    lit

    books

    maureen corrigan

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  1. Poetry and Fiction About War
An Army Wife Reflects On ‘When The Men Are Gone’
Soldier-Poet Brian Turner, Framing War in Verse 
Reflecting ‘Stateside’ With A Loved One At War
Poets Of World War II

    Poetry and Fiction About War

    An Army Wife Reflects On ‘When The Men Are Gone’

    Soldier-Poet Brian Turner, Framing War in Verse

    Reflecting ‘Stateside’ With A Loved One At War

    Poets Of World War II

  2. war

    veterans day

    poetry

    fiction

    lit

  1. Russell Banks’ latest is an uneven effort to excavate and redeem the  dregs of modern society. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the novel — about  porn addiction and sexual predators — is compelling in a low grade,  nightmarish sort of way. View in High-Res

    Russell Banks’ latest is an uneven effort to excavate and redeem the dregs of modern society. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the novel — about porn addiction and sexual predators — is compelling in a low grade, nightmarish sort of way.

  2. maureen corrigan

    russell banks

    lost memory of skin

    lit

    fiction