Displaying articles for: March 2012

A Conversation with Cheryl Strayed

The work of the late poet Adrienne Rich was an important part of Cheryl Strayed's trek along the Pacific Coast Trail, chronicled in her riveting new memoir, Wild. When Discover Great New Writers asked the author to talk about her book and her journey, she told us, "I've always loved books. But the books I took with me on my PCT hike were even more important because they were often my only companions. Some  I chose because I'd always heard I should read them -- books like Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Nabokov's Lolita fall in to that category -- others I chose because I'd already read and loved them, such as Adrienne Rich's The Dream of Common Language, which is something of a sacred text in Wild."

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Julie Otsuka Wins PEN/Faulkner Prize

The Buddha in the Attic is the winner of this year's PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.  Julie Otsuka takes the prize for her second novel.  It follows the brilliantly spare When the Emperor Was Divine, a Discover Great New Writers selection in 2002.

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Ismet Prcic Wins the 2012 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction

In the latest entry on Miwa Messer's Discover Great New Writers blog, the Director of the Discover program relates some fantastic news about Discover alumnus Ismet Prcic, whose Shards joins the ranks of other debut novels that have been first recognized by Barnes & Noble and then celebrated by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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The Great American Cereal Book: How Breakfast Got Its Crunch

There must be a rule of thumb in pop-culture archaeology that states that the allure of any topic is inversely related to its assigned importance in the affairs of humanity. The more trivial the subject, the dearer it is to most of its partisans, and the more worthy of scholarship. The smallest things in life often mean the most to people.

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Rub Out the Words

This volume of selected letters written by the novelist and counterculture icon William Burroughs during the period from 1959 to 1974, is a remarkable testament, since it manages to confirm Burroughs's legendary public persona while simultaneously shattering it. In other words, we get the whole picture of the man, not just the usual cropped and etiolated snapshot.

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2011 Discover Award Winners Announced

The 2011 Discover Great New Writers Awards have been announced! Kosher Chinese by Michael Levy is the first place winner for Nonfiction;  Scott O'Connor's Untouchable took the first place award in Fiction.

 

Click to see the full set of winners and the presenting judges .

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Jerry Lewis's Long Run

Recently some friends and I were discussing entertainers who had exceedingly long careers.  A consensus emerged that George Burns, with over ninety active years in the biz at the time of his death at one hundred years old, had established a record that was hard to beat.  But other performers, mostly now departed, have exhibited similar longevity.

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

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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.