[Editor's Note: Each new edition of Indiespensable arrives with a note that explains, sometimes in a roundabout way, how its items came to be selected by Powell's staff. Our subscription club's seventh installment ships on December 4. Here, we offer the note as a sneak preview.]
The goal: to spoil you this holiday season with as much excellent and diverse writing as possible, by familiar authors and new discoveries, as well. And to support four great literary periodicals while we're at it.
On the corner of NW 26th Avenue and Thurman Street stands a tin house — the headquarters of Portland's so-named, award-winning journal. It's just up the hill from the Powells.com warehouse.
An odd coincidence: Lee Montgomery, author of The Things between Us and the Books Editor at Tin House, grew up down the street from Dave (Powell's Dave, we mean), in Framingham, Massachusetts. She lived in the red house at the corner of Winch and Grove. The two didn't meet, however, until many years later, in Oregon.
But here's where things get truly weird: Joanna Yas, the editor of Open City, grew up about a mile in the other direction. She only met Dave a few years ago, in a slow-moving lunch line at Book Expo America. (Read Kevin Sampsell's interview with Joanna on our blog.)
Heidi Julavits is from Maine, which until 1820 was part of Massachusetts. She visited Powell's for an interview and reading when she published her second novel, The Effect of Living Backwards, in 2003. That same year, Heidi introduced (as co-editor) McSweeney's monthly publication, the Believer.
Until just a few weeks ago, Matt Weiland served as Deputy Editor of the Paris Review. With Sean Wilsey, he edited the recent State by State collection; we at Powell's liked it so much that we turned the book into a 38-minute film.
[Another editor's note (last one, we promise): We've omitted several paragraphs here that describe two very special mystery items in this edition that will enhance our subscribers' reading pleasure. Sorry; this part's a surprise. But there's still time to get Volume #7 for yourself or a friend — it makes a heck of a gift!]
the folks at Powell's
Books mentioned in this post