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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Eugenides’

Four Playwrights Win Whiting Writers’ Awards

The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation has given $50,000 to ten promising writers for the 2012 Whiting Writers’ Awards. In a new record for the awards, four playwrights received awards.

We’ve included the complete list of recipients below, along with the foundation’s short biography for each winner and links to free samples of some writers.  In addition, three fiction writers, two poets, and a nonfiction writer also won.  Follow this link to read the keynote address by Jeffrey Eugenides. Here’s an excerpt:

In his 1988 book of essays, “Prepared for the Worst,” Christopher Hitchens recalled a bit of advice given him by the South African Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. “A serious person should try to write posthumously,” Hitchens said, going on to explain: “By that I took her to mean that one should compose as if the usual constraints––of fashion, commerce, self-censorship, public and perhaps especially intellectual opinion––did not operate.” Hitchens’s untimely death last year, at the age of 62, has thrown this remark into relief, pressing upon those of us who persist in writing the uncomfortable truth that anything we’re working on has the potential to be published posthumously; that death might not be far off, and that, given this disturbing reality, we might pay attention to it.

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Jennifer Weiner Analyzes Gender Balance in NYT Fiction Coverage

Novelist Jennifer Weiner has made a count of men and women reviewed by the New York Times last year.

Overall, Weiner (pictured, via)  found that out of 254 fiction reviews, nearly 60 percent of the featured books were written by men. Her long essay also counted authors reviewed multiple times by the newspaper. Follow this link to read the whole report.

Check it out: “Finally, of the works of fiction whose authors were reviewed twice (either with two full reviews, or review plus roundup) and profiled, one was a woman and ten were men. The men who received two reviews plus a profile were David Foster Wallace, Albert Brooks, Julian Barnes, Kevin Wilson, Nicholson Baker, Tom Perrotta, Russell Banks, Jeffrey Eugenides, Haruki Murakami and Allan Hollinghurst. The only woman who received two reviews plus a profile was Tea Obreht.”

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LiveWriters Collects Literary Web Videos

Readers looking for literary-centric web videos can turn to LiveWriters.com. The site showcases videos spotlighting on authors and books of every genre.

Browsers can find everything from book trailers to recorded interviews. The site’s most recent videos features Chuck Palahniuk reading from Knock, Knock, Paul Zak discussing the origins of morality and Jeffrey Eugenides talking about his latest title The Marriage Plot.

Here’s more from the site description: “LiveWriters is home to video and audio by and about writers of all types and kinds, as well as news, stories, original writing – in short anything that matters to writers, writing and the future of our shared culture. And we believe in a good healthy dose of fun too. Participate, play, share, enjoy.”

Laura Miller Calls National Book Awards ‘Irrelevant’

The National Book Award finalists were unveiled yesterday and many readers instantly started drawing lists of influential authors who didn’t make the list. Over at Salon, Laura Miller took the most dramatic stance in her essay “How the National Book Awards made themselves irrelevant.”

She cited four popular novels that the judges passed over: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and The Submission by Amy Waldman.

Here’s more from the essay: “the National Book Award in fiction, more than any other American literary prize, illustrates the ever-broadening cultural gap between the literary community and the reading public. The former believes that everyone reads as much as they do and that they still have the authority to shape readers’ tastes, while the latter increasingly suspects that it’s being served the literary equivalent of spinach. Like the Newbery Medal for children’s literature, awarded by librarians, the NBA has come to indicate a book that somebody else thinks you ought to read, whether you like it or not.”

Amazon Books Editors Pick Top 10 Fall Releases

The Amazon books editors unveiled their top ten picks of the biggest releases coming out this fall.

Senior editor Chris Schluep had this statement: “This is one of the best seasons for literary novels to come along in several years … We’ve highlighted Murakami and Eugenides in our Amazon Editors’ Top 10, as well as three of the finest debuts–by Amy Waldman, Erin Morgenstern, and Chad Harbach–to come across our desks in a long time.”

We’ve listed all the books below–what books are you looking forward to this fall?

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Susan Sontag Was Once a Struggling Author

sontag.jpg

Today Farrar, Straus and Giroux launched its new multimedia Work in Progress newsletter with a feature on the late Susan Sontag–including the letter (pictured) that publicists sent to literary critics and authors to promote her first book.

It should cheer up all the aspiring authors in the audience–even Sontag was a struggling writer once. The entry also contains an audio clip from 2000, as Sontag spoke with Robert Stone and William Styron.

The newsletter features a conversation between publisher Jonathan Galassi and author Jeffrey Eugenides, as the publisher struggles to uncover the title of his next novel.

Here’s more from the post: “FSG has published Susan Sontag since her debut novel The Benefactor. Here are a few selections from an archive of almost fifty years of material. Note the pitch-perfect location for the Volcano Lover publication party, and the lines from the teenage Sontag’s diary on the back of At the Same Time.”

FSG Editor Lorin Stein Tapped as Editor for The Paris Review

parisreviewcopy.jpgToday The Paris Review board announced that Farrar, Straus and Giroux editor Lorin Stein will replace Philip Gourevitch as the editor of the beloved literary journal. He starts in April.

37-year-old Stein has been a Farrar, Straus and Giroux editor since 1998, working with writers like Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, and James Wood. Titles he edited have won a slew of prizes, including the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Believer Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Here’s a Litblog Co-op interview and here’s a New York interview with the celebrated editor.

Here’s a statement from Stein: “The Paris Review is an institution like nothing else in American letters … It stands for the newest, the best, the most daring in writing and art, and that’s been the case now for more than fifty years. To be entrusted with that tradition is a true honor.”

The complete release is embedded after the jump.

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Oprah Picks Eugenides

PW Daily’s Charlotte Abbott reports that the latest selection of Oprah’s Book Club is MIDDLESEX by Jeffrey Eugenides. Word that this novel would be Oprah’s next pick trickled out last weekend, as hundreds of booksellers gathered at Book Expo America. Many received their shipments of the $15 paperback last month, and were warned by Picador not to open their cartons until after today’s official announcement on today’s show, which also features Cormac McCarthy‘s first television appearance.

Ron notes that we’re getting better at figuring Oprah out; remember our mid-May speculation?

“So that takes us back to the $15 Picador paperbacks, among which we’ve got Trance (strong possibilities), I Am Charlotte Simmons (heaven help us), Middlesex (left-field, but these days that’d be par for Oprah’s course), The Red Tent (actually $14.95, but perfect for the original book club), and The Corrections (I’m just saying!).”

No wonder they started getting panicky in Chicago when one of those authors took himself out of the running… That isn’t to say we can’t improve; even with the answer staring him in the face, Ron still believed it was going to be Marilynne Robinson‘s Gilead.