NYTBR 15 July 2012: Of Interest Therein

The front page has a graphic of the Union Jack.  Beneath the graphic, two side-by-side reviews:  one by Liesl Schillinger (one of The NYTBR’s regular contributors) and one by Jonathan Dee.

The book reviewed by Schillinger is published by W. W. Norton.

The book reviewed by Dee is published by Scribner.

Self thinks Norton is bigger than Scribner.  The book published by Norton is Capital, by John Lanchester.

The “Up Front” essay, a regular feature, is about Johnny Depp. Yup, you read right:  it’s about Johnny Depp the actor.  It is illustrated with a very cool drawing of Depp in semi-“Pirates” mode:  wool cap, Widow’s peak, moustache, and teensy goatee.  Depp was in the film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary.  Which must mean he is some kind of intellectual.

The “By the Book” interview is with Dave Eggers.  Ah, finally, a bona fide writer gets to dish.  Eggers loves ghost stories.  Eggers is reading a collection edited by Alfred Hitchcock:  Stories Not for the Nervous.  (Looove that title!)  Someone gave Eggers a book, several years ago, and now he is finally able to read it:  the book is Morning in Sierra Mattu:  A Nubian Ode, by Arif Gamal.

Other publishers with books reviewed in this issue of The NYTBR:  Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Yawn, so what else is new), Spiegel & Grau, and Two Dollar Radio.

Two Dollar Radio!

Self’s heart feels like it’s about to explode.

Is that —  no, it can’t be!  But it is!  A small press!  Kudos to publicist at Two-Dollar Radio!  The book reviewed (by Deb Olin Unferth, in a very witty review) is Radio Iris, a novel by Anne-Marie Kinney.

Let’s give a big hand to Miss Kinney, for this is her first novel.

The end paper essay is “co-written,” which self thinks is kind of a cheat.  Self means, why make Depp share print space with another writer?  Couldn’t he have kept the whole space for himself?  This is the man who appeared in the movie adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary, after all!

It turns out Brinkley is collaborating with Depp in editing the only unpublished novel by (TA-RA) American folk legend Woody Guthrie.  Who knew, dear blog readers, that Guthrie has the exact same birthday as self?

YES!  Self discovers in paragraph 1 of the essay, “This Land Was His Land,” that Guthrie “would have been 100 years old on July 14.”  For that alone, self promises she will get to House of Earth (what co-writers Brinkley and Depp call “his only fully realized, but yet unpublished, novel”) and might even take a crack at his two “quasi-fictional memoirs,” Bound for Glory and Seeds of Man. (Self wouldn’t hold Guthrie accountable for the two latter books’ trés grandiose titles).  There’s no mention in the essay of who is publishing Guthrie’s novel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

D. A. Powell’s Poem in PHOEBE 41.1 (The “Guts” Issue)

Actually, he has two.  The first is called “All Aboard,” and the second is called “Six Secrets.”

(Self apologizes in advance to dear blog readers:  both pieces are written with very long lines, so that the poems appear sideways, but she can’t figure out how to use landscape format in this post.)

She’s including a picture she took earlier this year, in March, when she was in the Philippines.

Without further ado, here’s the first verse of the first D. A. Powell poem:


Almost anything that can happen can happen on water.  Think how long Odysseus sailed in order to get home.

Or at least remember the number of times you’re told it. How, naturally, you resist the end. The wind

Sunrise, Bantayan Beach, Dumaguete

(And why should self put the whole poem here?  She wants dear blog readers to order an issue.)

Self would like to thank Powell for something he said to her many years ago, during a conversation he probably doesn’t even remember.  We had visited Claudia McIsaac’s creative writing class in Santa Clara.  Self read “Ghosts,” a piece she’d just finished writing a few days earlier.  Afterwards, self and Powell had lunch in Higuma in Redwood City.  Powell told her, completely unbidden (Come on, it’s not as if self would ever have had the courage to ask:  “So, umm, what did you think of that piece I just read???”)  “I really liked your piece.”

So self sent it out and sent it out and never stopped sending it out and finally, after two years, it got picked up by Hotel Amerika and was listed as TransGenre, her first TransGenre piece.  Ever.  Drew says he’d like to set it to music someday.

Sister, it was about you.  If only you knew, if only you knew.

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