Perhaps no single book details the excesses of the 1980s—in particular the debauchery of the New York City social scene—better than Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City (Vintage Books, 1984). The author’s commercially successful debut novel was adapted into a movie, starring Michael J. Fox and Keifer Sutherland, in 1988.
In five books written within the past eleven years, incuding The Last of Her Kind, Sigrid Nunez has obscured and sometimes just ignored traditional distinctions of genre by blending elements of fiction and autobiography.
Can political fiction matter? Stephen Elliott, the editor of Politically Inspired, an anthology published by MacAdam/Cage in 2003, and its follow-up, Stumbling and Raging: More Politically Inspired Fiction, published by MacAdam/Cage this month, casts his vote in the “definitely yes” column.
The University of Georgia Press recently revoked the 2004 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction given to Brad Vice of Starkville, Mississippi, for his short story collection, The Bear Bryant Funeral Train, which was published in September 2005, after learning that one of the stories contained uncredited material from Carl Carmer’s Stars Fell on Alabama, a book of nonfiction published by Farrar & Rinehart in 1934 and later reprinted by the University of Alabama Press.
Joining the ranks of literary contests that have failed to yield a winner, Winnow Press is the latest sponsor to announce that the manuscripts received for their First Book Award were not up to par; they are, however, offering something of a consolation prize.
For those who don’t mind Hollywood versions of great literature, a new series of novels packaged with the DVD recordings of the films they inspired allows for a side-by-side comparison.
At no time on my book tour did I jump up and down, wave my fists, and scream, “It’s a novel! That means fiction!” At least I don’t think I did. It’s hard to be sure, because, in my head, I had that tantrum about three times daily as I traveled from town to town in southern Michigan, reading, signing books, and attending the Ann Arbor Book Festival. You see, my novel, Flight, was set in that region, where I had lived during my high school and college years.
C. Michael Curtis, a senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly, who is known not only for selecting award-winning short stories but also for his considerate and sensible letters of rejection to the thousands of submissions he’s read over the years, spoke about the magazine’s new approach to publishing fiction.
Despite a $10,000 incentive from the Association of American Publishers to United States publishers willing to translate, publish, and promote contemporary Iranian fiction, no commercial houses have come forward since the initiative was announced in late 2004.
Two years after publishing a brutal, unflinching account of his drug addiction, James Frey is showing signs of becoming a kinder, gentler writer in his second memoir, My Friend Leonard.