1978 -- Blood Tie

In her autobiographical Learning to Fly, Settle notes that Blood Tie marked another phase of her roller-coaster career. After many novels and twenty years of publishing, she still had no one interested in Blood Tie even as she was on her final draft; and then just when she felt vindicated by the NBA, a number of critics vigorously attacked the decision and the book. Admitting a thin skin and a vulnerability to “that most familiar of industrial hazards as a writer—literary paranoia,” Settle vowed early on in her career to arm herself as best she could “for the diminishing act of having to make public a book on which I have spent several private years”:

I have faced the public a dozen times with a book in my hand, like Rousseau, as a gift that I see being thrown over the heads of the reviewers to the people who want to read it, like contraceptives at Dublin airport.

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."