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Tag: Jennifer Egan (1-7 of 7)

Sloane Crosley's five favorite underrated books

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Sloane Crosley’s favorite underrated books are written by people like Jim Shepard, who she compares to “literary Pringles,” and Jancee Dunn, who gives advice to could-be music journalists. Check out what else the author picked below:

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On The Books: Anne Rice stands up to haters on Amazon

Anne Rice, defender of vampire erotica, Christian lit and gothic New Orleans, has come out against haters who trash authors on Amazon.com. I love Anne Rice. I love her steamy fantasy. I love that she jumps in and out of the Catholic Church like it’s a swimming pool. What a treasure. Her house tour in NOLA is on my bucket list. Rice is miffed by the “bullies, trolls, jerks or whatever you call them” that abuse authors in the comments section of Amazon. She has signed a petition to require identity verification from commenters. On her Facebook page, Rice says “Amazon is such a wonderful system and so many go there to offer heartfelt authentic customer reviews of the books they read; too bad that the anti-author bullies have misused and abused anonymity there for their endless preying on writers. They are a tiny minority, true, but to the authors they harass and torment and endlessly attack, they are no joking matter.” I don’t know that identity verification would be progress, but it’s a good idea to draw attention to the issue of cyber-bullying writers. [Guardian]

This month’s fiction podcast on The New Yorker’s website is a chilling tale by Mary Gaitskill called “The Other Place,” chosen and read by the author Jennifer Egan. Egan was struck by the story’s “intense menace mixed with other kinds of complicated humanity, specifically parenthood and redemption.” A father is watching his son develop the same magnetism to evil and fascination with hurting women that he has curdling inside him. The father is troubled by this and he reflects on his own experience trying to quell this darkness. Creepy, and very stirring. [The New Yorker]

Hanif Kureishi, the author of The Buddha of Suburbia and my new favorite truth-teller, spewed out a rant against creative writing students despite his actually being a creative writing professor at Kingston University in the UK. “A lot of them [students] don’t really understand,” said Kureishi. “It’s the story that really helps you. They worry about the writing and the prose and you think: ‘F— the prose, no one’s going to read your book for the writing, all they want to do is find out what happens in the story next.’ ” How do I audit this class? [Guardian]

On the Books Apr. 19: 'Big Sur' to big screen, Jennifer Egan responds to Pulitzer win, and more

French-American actor Jean-Marc Barr by starring in a film adaptation of Big Surjoins the ranks of James Franco and Sam Riley in playing a beat writer. Published in 1962, Big Sur is the autobiographical novel of a celebrated young author who flees the literary hub of New York for a cabin on the coast of California. Josh Lucas will co-star as Cody Pomeray, a Neal Cassady-type character, and Kate Bosworth will also have a role. READ FULL STORY

Pulitzer Prizes announced for 2011: Jennifer Egan's novel 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' and Bruce Norris' play 'Clybourne Park' among winners

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Jennifer Egan’s novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, a sprawling story that pivots from the story of an indie record label owner to a wide network of loosely connected characters, has won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Pulitzer board called the book “an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.” Jonathan Dee’s The Privileges, about a Manhattan family, and Chang-rae Lee’s The Surrendered, about a North Korean refugee and an American GI, were the finalists. (Notably, Jonathan Franzen’s acclaimed Freedom was not recognized; Franzen’s The Corrections was a Pulitzer finalist in 2002.)

Clybourne Park, a play by Bruce Norris about racially divergent families moving into (and out of) a single suburban home in 1959 and 2009, won the prize for Drama, cited as a “powerful work whose memorable characters speak in witty and perceptive ways to America’s sometimes toxic struggle with race and class consciousness.” Lisa D’Amour’s tragicomedy Detroit and John Guare’s historical comedy A Free Man of Color, were the finalists.

Here’s the full list of winners and finalists for the “Letters, Drama, and Music” categories:  READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Egan on 'Goon Squad', 'Los Angeles Times' brouhaha, and her next novel

Unlike Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which had years’ worth of hype before it sold its first copy, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, released last summer, has been a slower-burning literary sensation. After Goon Squad made its way onto many a top ten list in 2010, it made waves again last month when it beat out Freedom for the ultra-prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award. Goon Squad is hardly Egan’s first well-received, wildly inventive novel, but with another literary nod from across the pond and the new paperback release, Egan seems to be experiencing a new level of critical and commercial recognition. She took some time to talk to EW about Goon Squad and why it connected. READ FULL STORY

On the Books Mar. 14: Tina Fey and Steve Martin's joint show, James Frey's controversial Messiah, and more

Tina Fey and Steve Martin are putting on a show together in Los Angeles April 19th to talk about their books. Unlike lower profile authors who often have to road-trip to near-empty bookstores to hock their tomes, Fey and Martin will be gracing the Nokia Theater stage for a paying audience (tickets are on sale for $29 to $119). Martin will be talking about his art world novel An Object of Beauty, and Fey will be promoting her highly anticipated Bossypants.

If he can survive a verbal beatdown from Oprah, he can survive anything: James Frey clearly isn’t afraid of controversy. His new book, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, centers on the second coming of Christ, only his Messiah is a pot-smoking, prostitute-soliciting alcoholic from the Bronx. Yikes–let the firestorm begin!

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On the Books Mar. 11: Jennifer Egan bests Franzen for National Book Critics Circle Award

jennifer-eganImage Credit: Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty ImagesIn what can only  be seen as an upset, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad beat out Freedom by Jonathan Franzen for the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Personally, I applaud the board for awarding Egan’s highly original, immensely entertaining novel of interconnected stories (even though Franzen’s novel would have been a more than deserving winner as well). Goon Squad will be released in paperback Mar. 22.

Mick Taylor, former guitarist of the Rolling Stones, will pen a memoir about his time with the band.

Who says libraries are dead? Bolingbrook, Illinois got a three-story, $39.5 million state-of-the-art library stocked with flat-screens, self-checkout stations, an automated book sorter (what’s that?), and a cafe. A section called the Vortex, designed to attracted teens, is decked with plasma TVs and beanbag chairs. The library as a whole is meant to appeal more to young professionals. Suddenly Bolingbrook sounds like it’s worth a visit.

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