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Posts Tagged ‘Don DeLillo’

First Glimpse of Don DeLillo’s Slim New Novel

pointomega_preview.jpgScribner’s Spring 2010 catalog gives literary fans a sneak peek at Don DeLillo‘s new novel, “Point Omega.” The 128-page novel comes out in February 2010.

The website Don DeLillo’s America recorded the novel’s description and captured that cover image. The book focuses on a war strategist who lives in the desert, his peace broken by a visit from a filmmaker and his daughter–a combination that causes a “devastating event.”

Here’s part of the catalog description, from the site: “[I]n Point Omega, he takes on the secret strategist in America’s war machine. In the middle of a desert “somewhere south of nowhere,” to a forlorn house made of metal and clapboard, a secret war advisor has gone in search of space and time. Richard Elster, seventy-three, was a scholar – an outsider – when he was called to a meeting with government war planners. They asked Elster to conceptualize their efforts – to form an intellectual framework for their troop deployments, counterinsurgency, orders for rendition…At the end of his service, Elster retreats to the desert, where he is joined by a filmmaker intent on documenting his experience.”

Granta Heads to Chicago

1253108044116.jpg“The trick now is to make literature seem urgent,” Granta Acting Editor John Freeman told a packed crowd at the Brooklyn Book fair earlier this month. In a new Chicago-themed issue, the UK-founded journal has built a literary monument to the place where President Barack Obama–our “Memoirist-in-Chief, according to Freeman–built his political career.

The new issue features a cover by graphic novelist Chris Ware, along with work by Don Delillo, Elaine Showalter, and Tony D’Souza. For UK readers, the magazine is giving away free tickets to the Small Wonder Short Story Festival this week. The new issue also includes writing by Chicago authors Aleksandar Hemon and Stuart Dybek–both interviewed on a Chicago porch for a web video feature.

Here’s an excerpt from the video: “I came to [Chicago] when I was 28. Everything I learned about living with people, about living in the world, I learned in Sarajevo … What I was looking for in Chicago was what I loved in Sarajevo. Which brings me to think you acquire a sensibility in a city. That’s where you grew up. It’s defined by that city. And this you transfer wherever you go.”

David Cronenberg to Adapt Don DeLillo Novel

cosmo.jpgCritically-acclaimed director David Cronenberg will shoot a filmed version of Don DeLillo‘s ‘Cosmopolis”–a 2003 novel studying one eventful day in the life of a young New York City millionaire.

According to Variety, Cronenberg will write the screenplay and direct the film, which is scheduled for shooting in 2010, traveling between Toronto and New York.

Here’s an excerpt from John Updike‘s review of the book: “In a land of chunky, garish, anxiousto-please books, Don DeLillo’s thirteenth novel, ‘Cosmopolis,’ is physically cool, as sleek and silver-touched and palely pure as a white stretch limo, which is in fact the action’s main venue.” (Via Publishers Weekly)

Esquire’s In-Titled Fiction Contest

2009_5_th.jpgEsquire magazine has launched a short fiction contest that allows writers to create everything except the title.

Contest entries must make use of one of these three titles: “Twenty-Ten,” “An Insurrection,” and “Never, Ever Bring This Up Again.” The contest celebrates the launch of the magazine’s new online fiction section, which currently contains stories Stephen King and Don Delillo.

Here’s more from the release: “A date, a thing, and a statement. No exceptions. Make of them what you will, do with them something great. But no taking an old story and slapping one of our new titles on it. We’ll know, and we won’t be happy. Second rule: Your story cannot exceed 4,000 words. We are serious about that, too.” (Via Practicing Writer)

9/11 Novels Don’t Stack Up to Non-Fiction

USA Today’s Bob Minzesheimer compares numbers on fiction and non-fiction published since 9/11 that happen to focus in some way upon the event. 1,036 non-fiction titles – most notably the 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT – have found their way to bookstores in the past six years according to Books in Print, with a mere 30 fiction titles available. The Book Report’s Carol Fitzgerald says fiction can’t compete with the “visual images that dominate our memories. We don’t need to create stories around the event. There were enough stories there from the start.” Scribner editor Nan Graham says sales are “fantastic for serious literary fiction” such as her own FALLING MAN by Don DeLillo and she expects more, especially if it’s taught in college courses. She’s not surprised readers were attracted by non-fiction to try to answer questions: “What happened? Could it have been avoided?” Fiction “comes later as people ask, ‘How has it changed the way we think and act and remember?’

Scene @ the American Academy of Arts and Letters Annual Ceremonial

ceremonial.jpg

What do Joan Acocella, Paul Auster, David Markson, Don DeLillo, John Updike, William Vollmann, Deborah Eisenberg, Stephen Sondheim, Reynolds Price, Richard Ford, Garrison Keillor, Jim Harrison, Mary Gordon, John Corigliano and many, many more luminaries in the literary, artistic and music worlds have in common? They all sat on the stage at the American Academy of Arts & Letters‘ Annual Ceremonial, held in the organization’s Harlem-area auditorium to honor the best and brightest in the arts. Some, like Gold Medal for Fiction winner Updike, have been members for nearly half a century; others, like Dana Spiotta, Junot Diaz, Tony D’Souza and Adam Rapp, received generous monetary awards honoring their recent writing-related outputs.

It may just be my own biased viewpoint that makes me think the Academy is a well-kept secret within the current state of the arts community, but then, it might not: while the turnout was strong, it was decidedly bereft of publishing professionals and those under the age of 35. And Academy President Ezra Laderman‘s opening remarks, highlighting how “we’re in an extraordinary time for the arts” thanks to questions about intellectual property, the decline of a proper arts curricula in any American school and eschewing artistic endeavors for market forces, had just the barest whiff of the old school. And yet it was remarkably clear how much the Academy, and its members, care about the arts and about ensuring that promising writers and artists continue the non-profit’s legacy, and how old school values produce a certain dignity that’s easy to admire. One need only listen to Updike’s spare remarks about how his induction into the Academy as its then-youngest member helped further his career by exposing him to peers as well as “magi-like writers” whom he revered. Bestowing awards onto Diaz and Spiotta is a step to the future, and I look with interest to see which younger writers the Academy recognizes from here on in.

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Summer’s Fiction Logjam

Former Dallas Morning News book critic Jerome Weeks brings to light what may seem like a major upcoming headache for both book editors and publishers: a plethora of major literary works crammed together between April and June. “There are so many significant authors with novels coming out in the space of about 9 weeks that when I proposed reviewing Don DeLillo‘s post-9/11 novel, FALLING MAN, to one editor, I was told there was already too many fiction reviews booked for May through June,” Weeks explained. “When DeLillo can’t catch a break, you know it’s crunch time.”

No kidding, what with impending releases by Nathan Englander, Haruki Murakami, Michael Chabon, Michael Ondaatje, Susanna Moore, Armistead Maupin, Chuck Palahniuk and Khaled Hosseini. But the craziest publishing day for fiction has to be June 5, as new bestseller staples by Clive Cussler, Robert B.Parker, Jeffery Deaver, Laurell K. Hamilton, Ann Brashares and Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin are released that Tuesday. Calling it a dogfight is probably an understatement…

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