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Posts Tagged ‘Karen Russell’

Donald Antrim & Karen Russell Receive MacArthur Genius Grants

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Authors Donald Antrim and Karen Russell were among the 24 creators and thinkers picked as MacArthur Fellows for 2013. These “genius grant” recipients will be the first class of fellows to receive a $625,000 no-strings-attached stipend (compared to the previous $500,000 stipend).

The foundation published glowing biographies of the two writers. They cited  Donald Antrim‘s reputation as a “writer’s writer” who “has yet to achieve major commercial success.” Here’s more:

He is a professor at Columbia who is deeply committed to his students, and he is currently working on a new novel and collection of short stories. His style is highly contradictory — at once absurd but relatable, free but structured, romantic but realistic, funny but sad. His unusual style blends tightly controlled prose with comic absurdity and surreal events.

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Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing

Personal Essay WritingStarting October 28, work with a published journalist to draft, edit, and sell your first-person essays! Jessica Olien will help you to workshop your writing so that it's ready to pitch to editors. You'll learn how to tell your personal story, self-edit you work to assess voice, style, and tone, and sell your essays for publication. Register now!

Jason Rekulak Named Quirk Books Publisher

Jason Rekulak has been promoted to publisher of Quirk Books. In addition, Brett Cohen has been promoted to president at Quirk Books and David Borgenicht will take the role of Quirk Productions CEO.

Rekulak acquired and edited many of the house’s bestsellers including the mash-up title Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the young adult novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

A number of other publishing organizations have also announced promotions this week…

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Gary Shteyngart Gets Book Blurb Documentary

Journalist Edward Champion has released “Shteyngart Blurbs,” a short documentary looking at the life and book blurbs of Gary Shteyngart (along with the history of blurbs).

We’ve embedded the complete film above, including cameos from some great writers, Jacob Silverman‘s cat and the Totally Hip Book reviewer. Check out The Collected Blurbs of Gary Shteyngart Tumblr to read some of his work.

Here’s more about the film: “Narrated by Jonathan Ames, this fifteen minute documentary investigates Gary Shteyngart’s prolific book blurbing, talking with the the many authors who have been blurbed by Gary, book critics, journalists, editors, book jacket designers, and even the man who created a Tumblr devoted to Shteyngart’s blurbs. Features Ron Charles, A.J. Jacobs, A.M. Homes, Molly Ringwald, Karen Russell, Dinaw Mengestu, and many more! (Music licensed through Friendly Music.)”

Pizza Hut Book It! Nostalgia from Karen Russell

The New Yorker recently ran a nostalgic essay by Swamplandia! author Karen Russell about Pizza Hut’s Book It! reading program. Unfortunately, the article itself is subscription-only. Here is an excerpt:

In the early nineties, Pizza Hut sponsors Book It! to promote reading. For every ten books you read, you get a certificate for a free, one-topping pizza. At the end of each month, you come home from Mrs. Sicius’s fifth-grade class and slam down the Book It! certificate in front of your parents like a hunter dropping a deer carcass on the kitchen table. Book that Family! We are eating tonight! It turns out there is no greater pleasure than reading for pizza. No longer do you feel guilty about eschewing the ‘real’ world for these fantasy zones. Now you have an unassailable American motivation; you’re a breadwinner. Literally.

Reading the essay, this GalleyCat editor remembered the hours and hours and hours of pizza-driven reading he completed as a Book It! kid back in Michigan. If you were a fan of the program, Pizza Hut still hosts the reading contest with some new media twists. Book It! graduates can sign up for the alumni newsletter.

Orion Book Award Finalists: Free Samples

Snubbed by the Pulitzer Prize board, novelist Karen Russell has been named one of the five finalists for the Orion Book Award.

Check it out: “Each spring near Earth Day, an important work of fiction or nonfiction is presented with the Orion Book Award in recognition of its success in addressing the human relationship with the natural world in a fresh, thought-provoking, and engaging manner … Nominations for the award are made by advisors, writers, editors, and contributing editors of Orion. Selection of the winning book and four finalists are made by a five-person selection committee, which changes annually.”

We’ve collected links to free samples of all five finalists below…

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No Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Awarded

There was no Pulitzer Prize for fiction awarded this year. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell and The Pale King by David Foster Wallace were all nominated.

Stephen Greenblatt won the General Nonfiction award for  The Swerve: How the World Became Modern and John Lewis Gaddis took the Biography award for George F. Kennan: An American Life.

Tracy K. Smith won the Poetry award with Life on Mars. The Drama award went to Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable won the History prize.   Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts was awarded the Music prize.

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Free Samples of the Young Lions Fiction Award Finalists

The New York Public Library has revealed the five finalists for the 2012 Young Lions Fiction Award, a $10,000 prize awarded each annually to a writer under 35-years-old.

Follow the links below to read free samples of the books.

Open City by Teju Cole (Random House)
The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale (Twelve/Hachette Book Group)
Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner (Coffee House Press)
Swamplandia! By Karen Russell (Alfred A. Knopf)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)

Swamplandia to Be Adapted for HBO

HBO has approved a “half-hour comedy project” based on Karen Russell‘s critically acclaimed novel,  Swamplandia. Producer Scott Rudin will lead the project.

Follow this link to read a free excerpt from Swamplandia. The debut novel focused on a teenaged alligator wrestler who takes a surreal journey through the Florida Everglades.

The Hollywood Reporter also revealed details about other literary projects at HBO: “A search is under way for a writer on the project, with Rudin attached to executive produce the comedy and author Russell consulting … In addition, Rudin is attached to Noah Baumbach‘s adaptation of Jonathan Frazen‘s The Corrections and Cynthia Mort‘s half-hour comedy based on scribe Mary Karr‘s life.”

New Yorker Releases “20 Under 40″ List of Writers

nykr.jpgThe literary world exhaled today as the New Yorker released its “20 Under 40″ list of young (and envy-inducing) writers.

The NY Times had the scoop: “there is an even number of men and women, a characteristic that Deborah Treisman, the magazine’s fiction editor, called ‘a rewarding accident, in terms of what it says about equal opportunity on the literary playing field these days.’ (The 1999 list included only five women, The New York Observer noted in May.)”

Among the winners, only two were in their twenties: 24-year-old Tea Obreht and 28-year-old Karen Russell.

The complete list follows after the jump. Add all the writers they missed in the comments section for a future post.

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NBF Unveils 2009 “5 Under 35″ List

nba23.jpgThe National Book Foundation announced its annual “5 Under 35″ honorees this week.

Ceridwen Dovey for “Blood Kin” (Viking, 2008), chosen by Rachel Kushner.
C. E. Morgan for “All the Living” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009), chosen by Christine Schutt.
Lydia Peelle for “Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing” (HarperCollins, 2009), chosen by Salvatore Scibona.
Karen Russell for “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” (Vintage, 2006), chosen by Don Chaon.
Josh Weil for “The New Valley” (Grove Press, 2009), chosen by Lily Tuck.

The ’5 Under 35′ celebration will take place on November 16 at PowerHouse Arena in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. Here’s more about the party: “That evening, each author will be introduced by the writer who selected them and will read a brief excerpt from their work to an audience of their peers: young writers, editors, publishers, agents, journalists and bloggers. This year’s emcee is musician, novelist and publisher Richard Hell, founder of the seminal punk band Richard Hell & the Voidoids. The evening’s DJ will be novelist, essayist, and MacArthur fellow Jonathan Lethem.”