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Posts Tagged ‘Carolyn See’

Veteran Book Reviewer Carolyn See is Retiring

carolynseeBook reviewer Carolyn See is retiring from her post writing book reviews for The Washington Post‘s Book World section.

The 80-year old is the author of five novels herself and has been writing book reviews for decades. Ron Charles, the fiction editor of The Washington Post, penned a tribute to See, announcing her retirement. Here is an excerpt:

Every few months, she’d weary of e-mail, and I’d hear her soft, laughter-filled voice on the phone: “Hello, Sweetums.” In a moment, we’d drift away from books, and she’d be regaling me with another unbelievable story about the Life and Times of Carolyn See. Even the harrowing ones were always — in her telling – hilarious. It was like getting my own personal update on her celebrated 1995 memoir, “Dreaming: Hard Luck and Good Times in America.” I’m hoping our phone conversations continue for a long time, but her reviews in The Post, alas, have come to an end.

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Eloise Klein Healy Named First Poet Laureate of Los Angeles

Eloise Klein Healy has been named the first Poet Laureate of Los Angeles.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa created a selection committee and named Dana Gioia chairperson. The group also includes novelist Carolyn See and poets William Archila, Kate Gale, Douglas Kearney and Amy Uyematsu.

Here’s more from Jacket Copy: “The post, funded by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, is the brainchild of [Mayor Antonio] Villaraigosa. Most U.S. states have poet laureates, as do many cities, large and small, including Boston, Santa Fe, N.M.; San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Gioia said the committee began by brainstorming a wish list of 11 candidates they wanted to see in the mix. All but one of those poets were among the 40 people who were nominated or applied, he said.”

Apocalypse Literary

The LA Times’ Scott Timberg fashions a trend piece out of three recent novels dealing with life after apocalypse: Cormac McCarthy‘s THE ROAD, Chris Adrian‘s THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL and most recently, Matthew Sharpe‘s JAMESTOWN. Add in other related fare by Carolyn See, Daniel Alarcon and David Mitchell and Timberg is right to wonder what’s in the water to produce all this end-of-the-world type of fiction.

The simple answer, Timberg says, is that the attacks of 9/11 and the Iraq war have brought a sense of unease and vulnerability to both artists and audiences. Growing worries about global warming and the greater visibility of the Christian right — Protestant fundamentalists, for whom the apocalypse is not metaphor, are thought to have swung the last two presidential elections — have brought the end of the world in from the shadows. But Steve Erickson offers a more literary viewpoint, saying this new emphasis also has to do with a blurring of lines between literary and genre fiction. “Twenty years ago, there was still an insularity to a lot of fiction, especially work put out by the New York publishing houses. It was still doing Raymond Carver and that neorealist minimalist thing. It regarded the futurism that’s kind of implicit in apocalyptic writing as kind of lowbrow.” Now, Erickson said, “there’s a new generation of writers who are more involved with other things happening in the culture.”