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Friday, May 14, 2004

Returning to the Stomping Grounds 

First, a heartfelt thank-you to Olen for a marvellous job over the past few days--there was some extremely thought-provoking posts that he put up, stuff that I'm still mulling over and may yet respond to in a fuller fashion--we shall see. As for me, I'm still getting used to being in an enclosed space (behind secure doors, I might add),added responsibilities and completely new surroundings, while juggling yet more interviews and more travel time in the days and weeks to come.

Anyway, some choice links, although fewer than usual:

Newsday's book coverage leads off with a nice interview of Bolivian-American writer Emanuel Paz Soldan, one of many up-and-coming South American writers trying to get out from the long shadow cast by Gabriel Garcia Marquez--although Soldan's a fan of the elder statesman.

I keep forgetting that Michiko's a baseball nut until she comes back with a new review of a baseball-themed book. This time it's Michael Sokolove's THE TICKET OUT, a chronicle of Daryl Strawberry and his fellow teammates on the 1979 Crenshaw High Cougars. I wonder if La Kakutani will tackle Jeff Pearlman's upcoming expose of the seamy side of the 1986 Mets? (A book, incidentally, that I am extremely excited to read.)

Harvey Weinstein will write his memoirs, and the publication date is 2006. I dunno, I think I'd rather read what his brother Bob has to say. Besides, it's not like Harvey's gonna dish about all the starlets he got to play Casting Couch with...

One of these days, I'm going to do a ridiculously long rant about my completely irrational hatred for Plum Sykes and how she's at the forefront of a completely different subgenre. But until then, there's the Independent's take on BERGDORF BLONDES, adorning the book with grudging praise.

One has less-than-high hopes for a profile that immediately begins with an ode to the author's "masses of hair," but that's the price to pay for reading this interview with Jodi Picoult in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Lord knows I've spent enough time here talking about Michael Connelly's THE NARROWS, but this article in the LA Times could not be passed up--as Steve Harvey's "only in L.A." column is devoted to the surreal take on the BLOOD WORK movie, and how Connelly manages to use his characters to voice opinions the author probably couldn't.

Michael Marshall Smith wrote some hybrid SF/thrillers before dropping the last name, writing conspiracy thrillers like THE STRAW MEN and THE LONELY DEAD and becoming a household name in the UK (while languishing in PBO in the US. Go figure) Anyway, he's about to appear in Manchester so the Evening News does a little profile on him.

After only six issues since its launch in November, Ink Magazine has closed up shop due, predictably, to problems in recovering start-up costs.

How'd you like to spend 42 minutes listening to Joe Lansdale expound on whatever comes to mind, especially his new book, SUNSET & SAWDUST? Now you can, thanks to Rick Kleffel's recent interview of the Edgar award-winning author.

And finally, get ready for the newest heir to the HypeMonster (TM) throne: Susannah Clarke, whose 800-page novel JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL is deemed by Bloomsbury as "Harry Potter for grown-ups." Well, they would, since they publish Potter in the UK, and lord knows they can't have too many cash cows--or potential ones....

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