Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lit: It's In The News

 Clearly I'm not one to turn to my local newspaper for all of my book news. Still, I've been disappointed in the ever shrinking coverage they offer. There will never be a review of a book by a local columnist unless it's a local author but it's still interesting to see what reviews they've pulled from other papers.

This week the paper featured a St. Louis Post-Dispatch review of Ron Rash's latest collection of short stories, Nothing Gold Can Stay. I've read and loved Rash's novels Serena and The Cove but I've never read any of his short stories. Reviewer Amanda St. Amand called Rash's writing "elegant" and said he has a "muscular way with words." I I know Rash can write books set in the past and North Carolina is always a strong character in his novels. Here his stories span eras and places and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in other times and locations.

" Whether it’s a tale of a woman’s dowry or the fallout from a young girl’s drowning, the author creates a slice of life so authentic you can hear the rushing water and see the falling tears."

Any Don DeLillo fans out there? Apparently he was awarded the first Library of Congress Award for American September. Back in the day, it might not be that surprising that literary news was making it's way to Nebraska months after it happened. But in this day and age? Surely they could have found a way to work that into the paper in year that it happened? Congrats to DeLillo and to the Library of Congress for creating this award.

Far away from home, The Guardian today posted this interview with Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl.  I was particularly interested in reading her response to charges that her writing shows "a deep animosity towards women." Flynn says:
" Isn't it time to acknowledge the ugly side? I've grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, brave rape victims, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains."
Have you read any of Flynn's books? More than one? What do you think of her portrayal of women?


  1. That is a riot about the news lag! I am a Don DeLillo fan, and am glad to find out he got the award (even if I too am finding out quite late!) :--) Interesting remarks by Flynn!

  2. My local paper still carries book reviews on Sundays but mostly local authors, which is good publicity for them, but limiting.

    I've not heard of Ron Rash before, but the collection of short stories sounds like a good introduction to his writing. I like elegant writing, and I'll be curious to find out just how muscular he is with his words. :)

    My kids just finished DeLillo's White Noise as their final book in high school English, and both liked it so I was thinking of reading it myself this summer.

    For the record, I'm a bit weary of the spunky heroine myself, which is why I liked the girl in Brooklyn so much--so much more real to be influenced by peers, filled with self-doubt, and cautious to a fault.

    Great post--thanks for the news!

  3. "muscular way with words"? Hmm, interesting turn of phrase, I'm not exactly sure what is meant by this.

    Fascinating post. Like yourself I rarely give such reviews a glance (other than, in the case of our local paper, to comment I could do a better job LOL) preferring instead to read those of my fellow bloggers.

  4. What a great quote from Flynn. I read and enjoyed Gone Girl. She is not the only author that makes women out to be villains. This book was just successful.

  5. Interesting that they would say that about Flynn. I've ready only Gone Girl and while I couldn't put it down, I didn't like the ending. But I think that's more to do with my love of good over evil in stories. But I thought she portrayed a great female villain who used her wits whether than brute force to get what she wanted. I'd have to read more of her books, though, to see if that phrase is accurate.

  6. I like what Flynn said and I agree with her. However, like hmsgofita said above, I have not read her other books yet. It will be interesting to find out what her other books are like.

  7. Yes, I read Gone Girl and I agree with Flynn wholeheartedly. Women are somehow expected to write fluff pieces about love and cooking, and if they show a darker side -- as acclaimed male authors so often do -- they are vilified. Really, would they say the same thing about a male author who writes consistently about darker male characters?

    You should write for your local paper!

  8. I have that story collection but haven't started it. The story of my life these days.

    I read Gone Girl and didn't love it. I hated how women were portrayed but I didn't think too much of it.