Sunday Miscellany

The Financial Times reviews Junot Diaz‘s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, now out in the U.K.

The Case for Ink: 5 Reasons I Won’t Give Up on Books.

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, will open an exhibit in April featuring representations of Poe in comics.

At yesterday’s “A World of Fiction Writing” conference at American University, Josh Emmons participated in a panel titled “Fiction Under Forty,” and spoke a little about how young writers are discouraged from shopping short-story collections; first novels don’t sell too well, but debut story collections sell worse. Maybe this doesn’t apply to 53-year-old authors of debut story collections: The Wall Street Journal has a large takeout on Donald Ray Pollock, a longtime paper-mill worker whose first collection of short stories, Knockemstiff, comes out next month. (Sorry, that’s connected short stories. Is this a new thing, a workaround for first-timers to get around the marketing folks who complain that the first book is “just” a book of short stories? I’m sure the “connected story collection” has always been with us, but at this early hour I can’t recall a single one.) One of his stories is available for free; congratulations to Pollock for getting the phrase “hotter than a fat lady’s box” into a major American newspaper, online or otherwise.

One response to “Sunday Miscellany

  1. I am Don Pollock’s editor at Random House, and your surmise about “connected stories” is correct. It is much easier to interest bookstores (and, to be frank, reviewers) in a so-called “linked stories” collection than a mere “collection. “You do what you can with what you have . . . . In presenting KNOCKEMSTIFF I have evoked WINESBURG, OHIO and DUBLINERS as two great predecessors in the literature of place , with the obvious and sensible caveats re James Joyce.
    I think the comparisons are valid.

    I smile every time I read tht line about “the fat lady’s box.” Now THAT’S concrete imagery!

    Would you like a galley?

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