Notes from L.A.

Dear Reader,


A quick post from the West Coast, after the 2012 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, one of my favorite events of the year -- it's marvelous to see so many readers of all ages and authors together on the campus of USC.


Ismet Pricic picked up another award for his debut novel Shards, a Holiday 2011 Discover selection on Friday night (the post about him winning the Sue Kaufman prize a month ago is here) and we couldn't be more pleased.


Prcic wasn't the only author with a Discover Great New Writers connection appearing at this year's Festival: 2011 Discover Awards winners Scott O'Connor and Alice LaPlante, Cheryl Strayed, Ben Loory, Claire Bidwell Smith, Julie Otsuka, John Freeman, Hari Kunzru, Ayad Akhtar, Peter Cameron, and Jonah Lehrer.  And I had the distinct pleasure of sitting on a panel with Bonnie Nadell, agent for Discover alum Michelle Huneven and David Foster Wallace, among others, and Dan Smetanka, the editor behind Christopher Bollen's Holiday 2011 Discover selection Lightning People, with David Ulin moderating. 


It's foggy and grey here this morning, all the better for finishing up  some more f the reading I need to do for the Fall 2012 Discover Great New Writers season...


Cheers, Miwa


Miwa Messer

Miwa Messer is the Director of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, which was established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality that might otherwise be overlooked in a crowded book marketplace. Titles chosen for the program are handpicked by a select group of our booksellers four times a year. Click here for submission guidelines.



April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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.