Dear Indiespensable subscribers,
Erika Goldman, the editorial director at Bellevue Literary Press, was the second person to read Tinkers (after Booker Prize winner Barry Unsworth, one of Paul Harding's instructors at Iowa). Erika fell for the book immediately.
"For her to immediately say, 'This is the cover I want to use for it,'" Harding remembers, "that was a good sign. And then, even better news: When I saw the cover she wanted to use, I thought, Jesus, that reminds me of what I wrote!"
At Powell's, Megan read Tinkers first, an advance copy she'd scored from Bob Harrison, our Consortium rep. With high praise, Megan passed it on to Jill, whose reaction proved much the same. Next in line, Dave agreed, yes, what an impressive novel, and a debut no less, by an unknown author, from a tiny publisher we didn't even know. The exact format of our custom edition changed first this way and then that way during production; we're thrilled with the final product. We hope you are, too.
A wholphin is a cross between a whale and a dolphin. Now you know. The DVD magazine called Wholphin is yet one more kick-ass spawn of the way-less-evil-than-Google-even McSweeney's empire. Pronounce it accordingly.
Benjamin Parzybok lives in Portland. In Couch, three 20-somethings, just a few blocks from Powell's on Burnside, decide to carry a couch across America, but it turns out that the couch has other ideas. Small Beer Press co-founder Gavin Grant came up with the idea of the signed print now in your possession, showing off Andi Watson's great cover art. Together we came up with the idea for a greeting from Ben on its back.
We sent Harding a copy of Couch the week before our happy hour celebration at Someday Lounge in honor of Indiespensable: Volume 8. Paul emailed us to say: "What a mobydickheartofdarknesslordoftheringswhitejacket-foucaultspendulumhitchhikersguidetothegalaxy freak out. Delightfully absurd."
To see what Harding has to say about his own book, check out Dave's interview at Powells.com.
Happy 2009 reading!