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Posts Tagged ‘Francine Prose’

David Foster Wallace on Your Mac Thesaurus

wallace.jpgYou can get some free writing advice from the great David Foster Wallace while working on your computer.

Every Mac computer contains a copy of the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, a powerful tool for writers that features extra “word notes” from Wallace and a number of other authors, including Rae Armantrout, Joshua Ferris, Francine Prose, Zadie Smith and Simon Winchester.

Author Dave Madden explained how to access the extra material in a post: “It’s part of the built-in dictionary. Type in a word, click on ‘Thesaurus’ in the little bar above, and you’ll get the word-for-word entry from this book I paid money for … Here, as a public service, is the list of words with notes by DFW: as, all of, beg, bland, critique, dialogue, dysphesia, effete, feckless, fervent, focus, hairy, if, impossibly, individual, loan, mucous, myriad, noma (at canker), privilege, pulchritude (at beauty), that, toward, unique, utilize.”

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Personal Essay Writing: Master Class

Personal Essay Writing: Master ClassStarting October 21, work with the senior editor at Marie Claire magazine to polish and publish your essay! Whitney Joiner will help you to develop your voice, narrative, and identity, draft your pitch, and decide where to market your essay. Register now!

L.A. Noire Video Game Gets Mulholland Books Anthology

Rockstar Games and Little, Brown and Company imprint Mulholland Books have teamed up to publish a short story collection exploring the world of the upcoming video game, L.A. Noire. Above, we’ve embedded the game’s trailer.

While only some of the stories are actually set inside the video game world, the collection includes stories by Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Jonathan Santlofer, Duane Swierczynski and Andrew Vachss L.A. Noire: The Collected Stories will be released on June 6th as an eBook at all the major eBookstores.

Little, Brown and Company publisher Michael Pietsch had this statement: “We are thrilled to be embarking on a creative partnership with the team at Rockstar Games … The possibilities for cross-promotions of this nature, encouraging gamers to read and readers to play games are huge. We’re looking forward to a new frontier of book publishing possibilities and see Rockstar as an ideal partner.”

Francine Prose Wins International Humanities Medal

Writer Francine Prose (pictured) has been awarded the Washington University International Humanities Medal, a biennial award that includes a $25,000 prize.

Prose accepted her award with an address titled, “Ten Things Art Can Do.” Only three individuals have won this award, including  novelist Orhan Pamuk (2006) and journalist Michael Pollan (2008).

Prose currently serves as president of the PEN American Center and a visiting professor at Bard College. Her first novel, Judah the Pious was published in 1973. In 2009 she released two titles, the YA novel Touch and the nonfiction book Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife.

Washington Post Book World Podcast Needs Subscribers

washington-post-book-world1.jpgIn an email interview with Washington City Paper, Washington Post Book World fiction editor Ron Charles worried about the subscriber rate for the site’s podcast series.

Here’s more from the post: “There’s no concrete deadline for adding more subscribers, Charles says, or even a goal for how many it needs, just ‘a general mandate to make sure we’re concentrating our efforts on projects that are actually attracting an audience.’” Update: On Twitter, Charles says the podcast needs “about 100K additional subscribers.”

Featuring ten minute interviews with writers like Francine Prose, James Ellroy and Margaret Atwood, the show deserves some iTunes love. After Maria Arana retired, Charles assumed podcasting duties at the review.

Two Writers Win $60,000 Fellowship

smallpew.gifTwo writers received $60,000 Pew Fellowships in the Arts today. They are: founding editor of n +1 magazine Marco Roth and author Ken Kalfus.

These authors joined ten other 2009 Pew fellows working in different artistic mediums, and the winners were selected out of a pool of 400 applicants. The judging panel was chaired by author Francine Prose.

The press release singled out Kalfus: “This year’s winners have a breadth of talent and accomplishments. Ken Kalfus is a highly accomplished writer of short story collections and novels including “A Disorder Peculiar to the Country,” which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award.”

How to Build a Better Literary Panel Discussion

14648.jpgHow do you build a better literary panel discussion? The NY Observer talked to a star-studded line-up of literary experts at the opening gala for the PEN World Voices Festival, getting some varied answers to that burning question.

New Yorker festival organizer Rhonda Sherman explained that journalists and authors David Remnick, George Packer, and Adam Gopnik are some of the best moderators in the business. PEN American Center President Francine Prose (pictured) recalled a recent panel that lasted, amazingly, five-and-a-half hours.

Sherman also offered this sage advice: “In general, it’s not a party unless there’s blood on the floor … There needs to be tension on a panel. You need to have some disagreement. If everyone agrees on the panel, it’s a total snooze-a-thon.” (Via Literary Saloon)

Report from PEN’s Silenced Writers Event

Hu Shigen.JPG

Jessica Rotondi from St. Martin’s Minotaur Publicity department was volunteering at the PEN event for Silenced Writers and offers this report of what happened Thursday evening, complementing our earlier report from Amanda ReCupido:

At PEN’s “Bringing Down the Great Firewall of China: Silenced writers speak on the eve of the Olympics,” prominent PEN members Rick Moody, Francine Prose, Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch and others came together to give voice to the works of leading dissidents and writers imprisoned by the Chinese government. The near-capacity crowd in Tishman auditorium also got to hear the voice of one particularly ardent audience member…

The evening’s moment of truth came when dramatist Edward Albee took the stage, drawing a parallel between two countries that he felt suppressed their citizen’s freedom of speech: “The United States of America, and the Peoples Republic of China.” A conspicuous latecomer, sensing that the moment was ripe to test this statement, pumped his fist and shouted: “Long live the People’s Republic of China! Long burn the Olympic torch!”

Albee attempted a dialogue with the protester (after all, the evening was about giving voice to the silenced), but when the latter’s end devolved into ever-louder chants of “Long live the People’s Republic of China! Long burn the Olympic torch!” and “PEN is CIA!” he was escorted outside of the auditorium, where he was allowed to continue his protest.

Albee didn’t miss a beat: “I’m so glad I live in a country where people are allowed to say exactly what they feel.” After the applause subsided, he continued his reading of Shen Noulian’s “Nightmare.”

The heart of the evening was garnering support for the over 40 writers and journalists currently held in Chinese prisons for various attacks on their freedom of speech. Hu Shigen’s “How Big a Character is Xin” spoke for many of the silenced. The piece ends with the author in a prison cell, dreaming of letters from all over the world falling towards him like snowflakes. In the dream, he tries to open the letters, but finds they are blank.

Chen Pokong, in his message from the Independent Chinese PEN Center, urged the outside world not to turn their backs on the struggle for freedom of speech in China once the Olympic athletes have returned home. Members of the audience received a set of ten postcards pre-addressed to imprisoned writers, printed with the phrase “you are not forgotten.”

Pictured above: Hu Shigen from PEN American Center

BEA Day Two: Ethics in Book Reviewing

Immediately after moderating the blog panel, Bud Parr took out his video camera and taped the panel proceedings, which he’s edited into the above highlight show. And considering the star wattage assembled for the panel, highlights abounded.

Moderator and Philly Inquirer book critic Carlin Romano began by rattling off all 37 questions asked as part of the National Book Critics Circle‘s revised survey on book reviewing ethics, commenting with tongue in cheek that the only question all 356 responders agreed on was that they were NBCC members. Then each panelist spoke for about five minutes or so on the nature of ethics and starting with Christopher Hitchens, the consensus was that if it’s not okay to review a friend’s work, it shouldn’t necessarily be taboo, either. “Who knows a writer’s body of work better,” said former NYTBR editor John Leonard of what he termed a “friend of a mind”, adding that such questions are “small potatoes compared to the corruption of a culture at large.”

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Prose President of PEN American Center

The Associated Press reports that Francine Prose, most recently the author of A CHANGED MAN and READING LIKE A WRITER, is expected to be named the new president of PEN‘s American Center when U.S. members gather March 19 for their annual meeting. She would succeed historian Ron Chernow, who declined to seek re-election, citing personal reasons. Prose is a longtime PEN member and advocate who is running unopposed for president, a one-year term for which she receives no salary.

“One of the exciting things to me is that I think even though many people and most writers know about PEN, I think there’s only a vague idea of what PEN actually does,” she said to the AP in a recent telephone interview, listing many programs, including “Freedom to Write,” which supports writers who face persecution or imprisonment. “PEN saves lives. I can’t think of anything more important.” Author Sidney Offit, who headed the PEN nomination committee, said Prose was an obvious choice, respected as a writer and as a colleague, dedicated to the work of PEN and willing to listen to others. “She brings not only collegiality and familiarity, but a willingness to do it, a passion. … Writers do not receive ego satisfaction by titles, being president of something. Most writers are almost totally focused on the distinction of their books.”