Displaying articles for: August 2013

The Blurred Borderline Between Spirits & Humans: A Q&A with Yangsze Choo

It's a truth universally acknowledged around our office that the Discover selection committee readers love a great coming of age story -- in fact, our entire Fall 2013 list is made up of coming of age stories, both fiction and non -- and  The Ghost Bride is one of the most mesmerizing iterations of the classic trope that we're seen recently.  Yangsze Choo discusses Chinese literary traditions, why she was drawn to write about the overlap between everyday life and the supernatural, and the parallels between 1890s colonial Malaya and Jane Austen's world, among other things, with Discover Great New Writers.


On Getting to Work: A Guest Post by Mario Alberto Zambrano

The Discover selection committee readers loved the language, the structure, and – most of all -- the narrator of Mario Alberto Gonzales’s striking coming-of-age novel, Lotería.  Eleven year old Luz Castillo is a ward of the state with a family in tatters. Refusing to speak to the adults who wish to help her, she relies on a deck of illustrated Lotería cards to reveal her family’s story. Gonzales’s debut shares the visceral emotional power of We the Animals by Justin Torres, a Fall 2011 Discover pick, and Sandra Cisneros’s modern classic, The House on Mango Street – but readers may be surprised to learn that writing wasn’t the young author’s first artistic love, as Zambrano explains in a guest post on the Discover blog.


On Baseball and Distraction: A Guest Post by Justin St. Germain

We see a lot of memoirs in the Discover reading room, but it’s only the truly great ones, like Wave and This Boy’s Life, The Liar’s Club, The Tender Bar, and Wild, with their electric prose, keen-eyed observations, and undercurrents of grief – sometimes elegiac, sometimes open and messy, often stultifying – that makes the hair stand up on the back of readers’ necks. The raw, relentless honesty and emotional resonance of those earlier Discover picks echo in Justin St. Germain’s  Son of a Gun.  He talks about baseball and grief in a guest post on the Discover blog.


What's It Like for a Critic to Write a Novel? A Guest Post by Caleb Crain

There’s lots to like in Caleb Crain’s marvelous debut novel, Necessary Errors. This is a coming-of-age story of exiles and expats finding freedom in post-Velvet Revolution Prague.  In elegant prose and with great tenderness, Crain captures all the messiness of twenty-something lives, where exuberance and idealism collide with expectations and indiscretions.


But Crain’s talent isn’t limited to writing novels; for years now, his journalism and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The New York Times, the London Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, and n+1.


Which is why I had to ask: What’s it like to be a critic-turned-novelist


April 21: " 'Pull' includes 'invitations to tea' at which one hears smiling reminders that a better life is available to people who stop talking about massacres..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.