Monthly Archives: April 2011

April Is The Cruelest Month…ehh, not really.

It’s National Poetry Month!! Woohoo!! Awhile back, I posted a link to the National Book Foundation’s new poetry blog. Well, good things have been happening regularly, but here’s the link again. It’s especially worth taking a gander each day this month.

This month affords us the opportunity to immerse ourselves regularly in poetry. Being who we are and where we are, let’s talk about Wallace Stevens for a minute. First of all, pick this book up. You owe it to yourself as a resident of the nutmeg state, and oh yeah, as a person. Speaking of the nutmeg state, here’s a favorite of mine. Guaranteed to make your next drive or walk along the Connecticut far more memorable.

Now, each year the Wallace Stevens Poetry Program has a poet read at UConn. This year, on the 19th of April, a truly fantastic poet–August Kleinzahler–will be reading at the Dodd Center. Here’s a taste. Make sure you go. For more, pick up this and jump right in. You will be glad you did.

Without further ado…let’s move on to some big books.

It’s April. That doesn’t mean taxes. Well, it sort of does. Well, yeah it does. But somehow more directly and indirectly, it means The Pale King — the novel David Foster Wallace was working on at the time of his death. It’s been a long time coming down the pike, and with it, pretty equal amounts of anticipation and sadness. Like all posthumous publications, the should we publish or just reverently observe question gets bandied about. Here’s his editor, Michael Pietsch, in answer to such queries. Also, the Guardian interviews Wallace’s widow (also responsible for the cover design). Obsessively cool fact: Come into the store, pick up a copy and look closely at the cover. Look quickly, and you see a fragmented playing card. Look closer, and you see that the strips of paper which fragment the card are actually old tax forms of DFW’s which have been shredded.

So…other big April books.

BOSSYPANTS! yep, the unrelentingly awesome Tina Fey has a book. Again, awesome cover. Of course, it’s funny but the surprise: a whole lot of heart. Author Curtis Sittenfeld offers an interesting take on it over at the NYT.

Last week, Professor Manning Marable passed away. I had the good fortune of working with Professor Marable at a book event a couple years back. He was a kind and very intelligent man, and that was what I could glean in just a couple of hours. It’s a big loss. The timing can only be seen as ironic. A few days after his passing, Marable’s new, and excitingly controversial, biography of Malcolm X was published. This, folks, is a game changer. After decades of writing and research, Marable knocks down misconception after misconception, and offers a whole new perspective of Malcolm X. A must read.

Finally… New Yorker favorite and pediatric hematology-oncology fellow Chris Adrian has a new novel : The Great Night. The novel, a retelling of that play about some dream close to the middle of summer, offers another slice of what Adrian’s serving: wonderful narrative, compelling characters and unique dialogue. And, that’s only when he isn’t winning literary awards or saving the lives of sick kids. READ IT.

Okay, one last book. Do you remember in Julie and Julia how Paul Child was very tightlipped about the time the Childs spent in the OSS? WELL, this book rips it open. A tale of intrigue, bureaucracy, fear and a young couple falling in love all over the world. This was the pre- BONNNN APPETIT! Julia Child and one just as warm and winning.

That’s all for now!

Links worth a click and more books coming soon!!

oh wait: here’s another kleinzahler.

–Josh

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