The Radleys is a vampire novel, and it is amazing. Totally riveting, funny whimsical and un-put-downable (that’s a phrase I saw in the New York Times Book Review…) I am savoring this, really, I know you are laughing right now, because I can sometimes be a literary snob.
I’m protective of myself as a writer. I’ve had to be, in order to keep writing. Focus, time, quiet, isolation, commitment, patience, effort—that’s what I need. FB, Twitter, and blogs are distractions. They can give the illusion that whatever a writer spits out needs to be read and noticed.
If Herve le Tellier was served to me on a plate, I’d eat him. I’d like to fly to Paris and beg him to have dinner with me so I could have three or four hours of urbane conversation. It would be like walking onto the set of my own personal My Dinner with Andre.
As I grew older, books continued to shape my life. Roald Dahl brought on fits of laughter. Diet for a New America made me a vegetarian for 10 years. Motherless Daughters reminded me that I’m not alone. Thoreau taught me that it’s okay to be alone sometimes. Jeanette Winterson reminded me that I have a heart that thumps and a brain that pulses. Faulkner made me pay attention to language and narrative and consciousness.
I suppose it’s a fair question to ask why anyone would get an MFA in writing, and spend any time aligning themselves, and their writing to a list of books that are subscribed by a teacher? Will reading these books make them a better writer, I doubt it, but if they live their lives, that might do something, and yes, if they write every day too.
Here’s five titles forthcoming this winter/spring that I’ve read in galley, and am really excited about, and pleased as punch to bang my drum for–so much so, that I’ve asked the publishers for giveaway copies. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the giveaways, and probably some When We Fell in Love posts from the authors of these excellent novels, three of which are debuts, and couldn’t be more different from one another.