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Posts Tagged ‘Junot Diaz’

Junot Diaz & Dinaw Mengestu Win $500,000 Genius Grants

Novelists Junot Diaz and Dinaw Mengestu were among the 23 fellows who have won a $500,000 “genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this year.

In a crazy twist of fate, both are Riverhead Books novelists. Other writers on the list were journalist and author David Finkel and historian Dylan C. Penningroth. The AP has the complete list at this link.

Here’s more about the awards, from the Foundation: “The recipients learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years.  MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations or reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore. The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.”

BookExpo America Galley Guides

What book are you most excited about this year? Over at Library Journal, Barbara Hoffert has published her annual “BEA Galley & Signing Guide.” The handy resource will help you make sure you can find all the galley copies and authors you need at BookExpo America.

Check it out: “Because hunting through the aisles for the book or author you love can be a challenge, I’ve been tracking some of the show’s top titles, from large publishers and small, focusing on tote-away galleys from adult authors and key in-booth signings, always harder to pin down than signings in the Autographing Area. Plus, for the digitally inclined, I’ve embedded icons that will guide you straight to NetGalley—just another sign that those titles are hot.”

If you want to sample the books, Publishers Marketplace and NetGalley teamed up to create BEA Buzz Books, a digital collection of more than 30 samples of highly anticipated books–including excerpts from books by Junot Diaz, Barbara Kingsolver, Dennis Lehane and Neil Young. Follow this link to download the free consumer edition.

Junot Diaz Returns with Short Story Collection

After a five year wait, Junot Diaz will release his second collection of short stories on September 11, 2012.  Riverhead will publish the book, This Is How You Lose Her.

Diaz (pictured, via Joey L.) hasn’t published a book since winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in 2008. Diaz took ten years to publish that novel after his first collection of stories, Drown.

Here’s more from the release: “[The stories] capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through – ‘the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying’ – to try to mend what we’ve broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that ‘love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever.’”

Asian American Writers Workshop Launches Page Turner Literary Festival

The Asian American Writers Workshop is celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting the third annual Page Turner literary festival. The all-day event will take place on Saturday, October 29th at Brooklyn’s powerHouse Arena. Follow this link to view the full schedule.

Here’s more from the release: “Multi-dimensional program includes: a staged reading directed by Ralph Peña; artist Wangechi Mutu (MOMA, Guggenheim) talking about immigration; an open mic featuring Jen Kwok (Date an Asian), Negin Farsad (Nerdcore Rising) and others; stories from twenty years of the Workshop; and hard-hitting conversations about Occupy Wall Street, Islam and the West, the rise of China and India, and the national crackdown on immigration.”

The festival will feature appearances by Junot Díaz, Amitav Ghosh, Jessica Hagedorn, Kimiko Hahn, Hari Kunzru, Jayne Anne Phillips, Suketu Mehta, Min Jin Lee, Mark Nowak, Amitava Kumar, Granta editor John Freeman, and Guernica editor Joel Whitney. Attendees will also get a chance to hear from two stand-up comedians, five National Book Award finalists and seven Guggenheim Fellows.

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Less Interesting Books on Twitter

 

twitterlogo2323.jpgToday the Less Interesting Books hashtag kept bored Twitter users busy, once again turning modified book titles into a nationally trending topic.

We’ve added The Brief Life of Oscar Wao to the list, turning Junot Diaz‘s masterpiece into a less interesting book. We’ve included a few more below–add yours to Twitter with the #lessinterestingbooks hashtag.

Lord_Voldemort7 Harry Potter and the Order of Takeout
Mark Athitakis: Good Jones Street
Sarah Weinman Portnoy’s Minor Issue
LAReviewofBooks Inherent Virtue
Jason Diamond: The New Jersey Trilogy

Stephen King Headlines Vampire Panel at New Yorker Festival

This year’s New Yorker Festival took place last weekend.  Twitter fans at the festival used the hashtag, #tnyfestival.

On Saturday, Joan Acocella (author of the vampire essay, “In the Blood”) moderated the Vampires Revival panel. On board to speak were philosophy professor Noel Carroll, horror novelist Stephen King, vampire film director Matt Reeves, and Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. A video preview of the panel discussion is embedded above.

Several dozen King fans waited outside the venue only to be disappointed by King’s unwillingness to sign books. As he walked away with his arms in the air, he told the crowd: “I can’t sign guys, I got to get something to eat.” Alas, just because he’s a “king” doesn’t mean he isn’t human.

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Dayton Literary Peace Prize Open for Submissions

peaceprize.jpgSubmissions are now being accepted for the fifth annual Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The award carries a $10,000 honorarium and has an illustrious group of winners, including Richard Bausch, Edwidge Danticat, and Junot Diaz.

The finalists will be revealed in September, and the award will be delivered at a gala ceremony in Dayton on November 7th, 2010. Publishers interested in submitting should check the award guidelines–the submission deadline is March 31st, 2010.

Here’s more from the release: “Publishers may submit English-language books first published in 2009 for consideration for the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Submissions may address the theme of peace on a variety of levels, such as between individuals, among families and communities, or among nations, religions, or ethnic groups.”

Colum McCann Tops List of Bestselling Signed Books on AbeBooks in 2009

greatworld23.gifWhat are the most popular signed books of the year? The answer might surprise you. On the list of the 25 Bestselling Signed Books on AbeBooks from last year, a National Book Award winner outsold a man who walked on the moon.

The top book was the National Award winning novel by Colum McCann, “Let the Great World Spin.” The book “Magnificent Desolation” by astronaut Buzz Aldrin came in 17th place.

Here’s an excerpt from the list: “Our list of the bestselling signed books of 2009 provides a cross-section of the year’s major literary events and books that captured the imagination of countless readers. The top 25 features three titles from authors who passed away during the year–two from John Updike and one from Frank McCourt–plus critically-acclaimed novels, such as Hilary Mantel‘s Booker-winner Wolf Hall, Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski and The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.” (Via Ron Charles)

Details: Gen X Men Do Read Books

details.jpgToday Details magazine unveiled the 25 Greatest Gen X Books of All Time, giving GalleyCat an exclusive peek at the picks. The colorful list includes everything from “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz to “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” by Rick Perlstein.

GalleyCat caught up with Details‘ Deputy Editor Chis Raymond to find out more about the list. He explained the cutoff age for writers: “After a lot of heated discussion, we ended up settling on 1960 as the cut-off date. That, of course, meant guys like William T. Vollmann didn’t make the cut, which launched a whole new round of arguments. But that’s what makes the project fun. We wanted to point out that there were some literary giants who were born after John Updike and Norman Mailer. But you can’t name every one.”

Finally, he argued against the stereotype that men don’t read books: “I don’t buy that argument. Men may not buy as many books as women, but we read. We read the the Wall Street Journal and Malcolm Gladwell‘s New Yorker stories and Bill Simmons’ column on ESPN.com. If a story’s good enough to merit our attention, we’ll find it and read it. Just look at the features in men’s magazines. They’re often much meatier than the fare you find in women’s magazines. What does that tell you? That guys aren’t afraid to spend an hour reading a great piece of writing … And because Details readers are sophisticated when it comes to modern media, they can appreciate the confessions of Motley Crue every bit as much as Dexter Filkins on the Iraq War.”

It Was the Best of Tweets, It Was the Worst of Tweets

frenchrevolution.jpgIn honor of Bastille Day, author Matt Stewart will publish “The French Revolution” entirely on Twitter, estimating it will take 3,700 tweets to micro-blog his 480,000-character debut novel–tweeting at the revolutionary rate of one tweet every 15 minutes.

In comparison, Charles Dickens serialized his French revolutionary novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” in a series of weekly installments. For readers less inclined to read an entire novel on Twitter, Stewart has a Scribd version as well.

Here’s more from his website: “‘The French Revolution’ is an epic San Francisco tale, exploring the haywire extremes of the French Revolution within the microcosm of a dysfunctional family. Zany, tragic, imaginative, funny—the incisive wit and wordplay of Junot Diaz meets the multi-layered precision plotting of Jonathan Franzen.”

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