Kendra Grant Malone contains several hundred people. Likewise, her words seem to protect several hundred other words beneath their giddy, precise calm. Here is a mother and a voyeur and a pervert and a magick-making child, somewhere between them all your brand new old friend, teeming with such heat. Here is language more honest than I could ever be. I suggest you keep it close, warm. I suggest you keep an eye, as if this book had human hands beyond its gorgeous shoulders it would tickle you to death; it would hump your funny tired body, then eat your head for what you’ve seen.
And Ben Greenman says
Any book that thanks ‘vodka, cocaine, and Citalopram, for making mood swings bearable and this book possible’ is likely to a strong sense of its own identity, or identities, and Kendra Grant Malone’s Everything is Quiet certainly does. Strong: her use of language, her voice, her commitment to getting it right, even as she’s describing how she frequently gets it wrong. Sense: a good ear, a good eye, an intimate acquaintance with bodies and what (and who) they do. These fifty sexy, thoughtful, and sometimes pained poems do right by sex, love, and sometimes pain, not to mention menstrual blood, greasy hair, funny faces, and watering eyes.
Benjamin Percy is the guest. His new novel, Red Moon, is now available from Grand Central Publishing. It is the May selection of the TNB Book Club. (Photo credit: The Oregonian.)
John Irving says
Red Moon is a serious, politically symbolic novel—a literary novel about lycanthropes. If George Orwell had imagined a future where the werewolf population had grown to the degree that they were colonized and drugged, this terrifying novel might be it.
And Library Journal, in a starred review, raves
This literary thriller by an award-winning young writer will excite fans of modern horror who enjoy a large canvas and a history to go with their bloody action. . . . Fans of Max Brooks’s zombies and Justin Cronin’s vampires will enjoy the dramatic breadth of Percy’s tale of werewolves.
Monologue topics: the Internet, blackouts, addiction, meditation, masturbation, my mother.
Stylish… captures an outsider’s gape at sun-drenched Los Angeles.
And Davy Rothbart raves
The Pink Hotel is mysterious, lyrical, and utterly absorbing, by turns funny and forlorn. [Stothard's] writing bristles with sexiness and suspense, love, loss, and longing. This is the best book I’ve read in years.
Monologue topics: stopping, vistas, nature, personal space, park benches, eating on airplanes, Reese Witherspoon.
Ken Baumann is the guest. He is an actor, writer, and publisher. His new novel, Solip, is now available from Tyrant Books.
HTML Giant says:
There is nothing on the back cover. A wall of black staring at you. No pull quotes or blurbs, and by the second page you realize why: because the book speaks for itself….I read this tiny book in one sitting in a coffee shop amazed by its power and had to go indoors to drown out the outside world to reread it and devour it properly….Early frontrunner for best book I’ve read this year, certainly the most memorable. I can’t remember reading anything quite like Solip….Solip is a twitter account from hell, a deranged patient babbling on a shrink’s couch….Concise yet brimming with ideas and thoughts and lists and fragments and run-ons and then it’s over and you’re left wondering what the fuck happened.
Monologue topics: fiction, nonfiction, my novel, paralysis, creative quandaries, Errol Morris, Baltimore, The Black Guerilla Family, prison corruption.
Matt Nelson, a graduate student in creative writing at Queens College and one of the library’s two founders, explained the origins of the place, which is meant to serve as a reading room and gathering spot in addition to book lender. Mr. Nelson and Jacob Perkins, both 26, started the library in February, inspired in part by Pilot Books, a bookstore in Mr. Nelson’s hometown, Seattle, that carried volumes by independent publishers, and which closed in 2011.
Mellow Pages also specializes in those more arcane titles. Without the advertising budgets of major houses, the smaller presses have more difficulty finding readers, Mr. Nelson said, and the idea behind the library was to form a community of people who could share books that were not easy to find elsewhere….
Monologue topics: voicemails, Spencer Madsen, Skype, my voice, cheese, New York City.
Watch Matt get his ear pierced upon learning that the Mellow Pages Library has 666 Facebook followers:
The Still Point of the Turning World is about the smallest things and the biggest things, the ugliest things and the most beautiful things, the darkest things and the brightest things, but most of all it’s about one very important thing: the way a woman loves a boy who will soon die. Emily Rapp didn’t want to tell us this story. She had to. That necessity is evident in every word of this intelligent, ferocious, grace-filled, gritty, astonishing starlight of a book.
And Kirkus, in a starred review, calls it
A beautiful, searing exploration of the landscape of grief and a profound meditation on the meaning of life.
[Maazel] has a real talent for taking these existential millstones of modern life—fear of death, failure, being alone, everything—and filtering them into morbidly funny, troublingly familiar forms. . . . Woke Up Lonely easily refutes the idea that the novel is a staid, obsolete form of writing. The stakes in Maazel’s book are at least as real as any work of nonfiction, and it’s a good deal more fun to read than any manifesto.
And Bookforum raves
Woke Up Lonely is another wunderkammer, a deeply felt and wildly original novel that repays the attention it demands, and once read won’t be soon forgotten.
Monologue topics: having nothing to say, saying something anyway, to-do lists, talking about writing, my dogs, dog baths.
It’s unusual to read a memoir built of short stories, but it works—instead of forcing a narrative arc onto his own life, as so many memoir writers do, Nadelson simply places these stories next to one another, allowing their edges to overlap, tugging the reader forward and backward in time. The results are funny, quietly compelling, and unflinchingly frank. Nadelson has built a golem out of paper and typeface.
Monologue topics: my little sister’s wedding, peer pressure, alcohol, the Cajun element.
Michael Reynolds is the guest. He is the editor-in-chief of Europa Editions. Maureen Corrigan of NPR’s Fresh Air says Europa Editions…has been doing the Lord’s work in terms of introducing European literary novels, many of them in translation, to an … Continue reading → […]
Kendra Grant Malone is the guest. She is the author of two poetry collections, Everything is Quiet (Scrambler Books) and Morocco (Dark Sky Books), the second of which she co-wrote with Matthew Savoca. Blake Butler says Kendra Grant Malone contains … Continue reading → […]
Benjamin Percy is the guest. His new novel, Red Moon, is now available from Grand Central Publishing. It is the May selection of the TNB Book Club. (Photo credit: The Oregonian.) John Irving says Red Moon is a serious, politically … Continue reading → […]
Anna Stothard is the guest. Her novel The Pink Hotel is now available in the United States from Picador. And her latest effort, a novel called The Art of Leaving, is just out in the UK from Alma Books. The … Continue reading → […]
Ken Baumann is the guest. He is an actor, writer, and publisher. His new novel, Solip, is now available from Tyrant Books. HTML Giant says: There is nothing on the back cover. A wall of black staring at you. No … Continue reading → […]
Matt Nelson is the guest. Along with Jacob Perkins, he is the co-founder of the Mellow Pages Library in Brooklyn, New York. The library was recently featured in the New York Times: Matt Nelson, a graduate student in creative writing … Continue reading → […]
The podcast seems to have invaded the dreamworld of xTx: And then finally some relief: A listener named Joseph corrects my pronunciation of ‘Amherst’: Really like the show. I just listened to Episode 162 and felt compelled to write … Continue reading → […]
Emily Rapp is the guest. Her new memoir, The Still Point of the Turning World, is now available from Penguin. Cheryl Strayed says The Still Point of the Turning World is about the smallest things and the biggest things, the … Continue reading → […]
Fiona Maazel is the guest. Her new novel, Woke Up Lonely, is now available from Graywolf Press. The Daily Beast says [Maazel] has a real talent for taking these existential millstones of modern life—fear of death, failure, being alone, everything—and … Continue reading → […]
Scott Nadelson is the guest. His new memoir, The Next Scott Nadelson: A Life in Progress, is now available from Hawthorne Books. Kirkus calls it Eloquent and universal. And The Portland Mercury says It’s unusual to read a memoir built … Continue reading → […]
Tupelo Hassman is the guest. Her debut novel, Girlchild, has just been published in paperback by Picador. The New York Times raves A voice as fresh as hers is so rare that at times I caught myself cheering. . . … Continue reading → […]
A listener named Patricia keeps having wildlife encounters in the desert while listening to the program: And another, this one tinged with a whiff of venom: A listener named Ty has an observation: I am continually impressed by the … Continue reading → […]
Rob Roberge is the guest. His new novel, The Cost of Living, is now available from Other Voices Books. It is the April selection of The TNB Book Club. Cheryl Strayed says Roberge’s writing is both drop-dead gorgeous and mindbendingly … Continue reading → […]
Michelle Orange is the guest. Her new essay collection, This is Running for Your Life, is now available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. The Daily Beast calls it A brilliant collection of essays on modern life, and ways that technology … Continue reading → […]
I’ll be hosting this event in LA next week. Some great writers and poets will be reading their stuff. And music by The Urinals. The perfect way to kick off the LA Times Festival of Books weekend. Everybody’s welcome. If … Continue reading → […]
Jennifer Spiegel is the guest. In 2012, she published two books: The Freak Chronicles, a story collection, now available from Dzanc Books; and Love Slave, a novel out from Unbridled Books. About The Freak Chronicles, bestselling author Lauren Groff says … Continue reading → […]
Owen King is the guest. His new novel, Double Feature, is now available from Scribner. (Photo credit: Michael York | AP Photo.) Karen Russell raves What a kinetic, joyful, gonzo ride—Double Feature made me laugh so loudly on a plane … Continue reading → […]
A frustrated listener named Daniel has a suggestion: I think it would be interesting to interview some editors from online literary journals like Jersey Devil Press, Defenestration, Paper Darts, or whomever. I’ve been sending out work for the last six … Continue reading → […]
Amity Gaige is the guest. Her new novel, Schroder, has just been published by Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing. Jennifer Egan says In Schroder, Amity Gaige explores the rich, murky realm where parental devotion edges into mania, and … Continue reading → […]
Periel Aschenbrand is the guest. She is the author of two memoirs, the latest of which is called On My Knees. It is available now for pre-order and will be published by Harper Perennial on June 18, 2013. Jonathan Ames … Continue reading → […]