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Book News: Alexie’s the Big Winner, Karl Rove Raps, and More

  • Awards Dance: Powell's favorite Sherman Alexie — among the most beloved of our cherished Pacific Northwest writers — is going to need a bigger bookcase to hold all of his awards.

    Of course you recall that his novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the 2007 National Book Award for young people's literature. Now, Alexie has received the 2010 PEN Faulkner Award for fiction!

    From PEN's press release:

    The honored book, War Dances, is a collection of structurally inventive pieces on the themes of love, betrayal, familial relationships, race, and class. The stories are interspersed with poems which refract their themes or topics.

    About this collection judge Al Young says, "War Dances taps every vein and nerve, every tissue, every issue that quickens the current blood-pulse: parenthood, divorce, broken links, sex, gender and racial conflict, substance abuse, medical neglect, 9/11, Official Narrative vs. What Really Happened, settler religion vs. native spirituality; marketing, shopping, and war, war, war. All the heartbreaking ways we don't live now — this is the caring, eye-opening beauty of this rollicking, bittersweet gem of a book."

    Click here to read the interview with Alexie from 2007.

  • Hotchner's Own: USA Today interviews A. E. Hotchner about his new memoir, Paul and Me: Fifty-Three Years of Adventures and Misadventures with My Pal Paul Newman.

    Newman once toyed with writing an autobiography but gave up, Hotchner says. What would he think of Paul and Me?

    "He'd hate it — at first. He'd see the cover and say, 'You S.O.B. ...' But when he read it, I think he'd like it. Paul didn't have a good memory, especially at the end. I think he'd like reliving the adventures we had together, like our trip to the Bahamas."

    After reading Shawn Levy's engrossing Paul Newman: A Life, there's almost nothing that can stop me from reading Hotchner's book.

Book News Round-up:

  • The New York Times looks at the National Black Writers' Conference, which begins on Thursday in New York, asking whether, in the age of OBama, "do black writers still need a conference to call their own?"

    Say! Have you heard about damali ayo's new book titled Obamistan! Land Without Racism? Yeah, it jumped right into my head, too.

  • The Dallas Morning News has only good things to say about the new memoir by the legendary Jules Feiffer: "No page of Backing Into Forward is boring. Feiffer is a fantastic raconteur, a thoroughly engaging narrator of his life..."
  • In this review, iO9 calls Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter "surprisingly fantastic":

    The story moves forward at a fast pace, with engaging dialog and fascinating tidbits about the past president's life, both true and false.

    Grahame-Smith was also featured on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.

  • Speaking of NPR (and the undead), did you catch Karl Rove on Fresh Air with Terry Gross the other night?

    He's got a memoir coming out called How I Made That Meat Puppet Dance for Me. Oops, sorry, that was the working title; the finished one is Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight.

    For some reason, the final title makes me think of this:

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

One Response to "Book News: Alexie’s the Big Winner, Karl Rove Raps, and More"

    manwith7talents March 23rd, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    God kills a kitten every time you post that video.

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