The week so far in the Tournament of Books: genre debates, politics not-as-usual, and a highly personal reading of dust jackets.
Here's the round-up so far: Monday saw Steph Cha debating genre and style and sheer entertainment while reading My Name Is Lucy Barton and Version Control.
One of the nice things about fiction is that it keeps us away from that particular abyss as a side effect of the search for beauty and meaning. Also, sometimes, it’s straight-up about alternate realities accessible through rifts in the space time continuum.
Then on Tuesday the commetariat got heated around Susannah Calahan's verdict when deciding between The Mothers and High Dive.
I had too much fun reading—OK, maybe “fun” isn’t the perfect word to describe novels about abortion and terrorism, but how else to explain the pure joy in reading, or rather the wish to distill both books down to their essences and inject them into your bloodstream so that you too could write like these two?
Today, Wednesday, former ToB contender Will Chancellor weighs in with certainly one of the more creative responses we've seen before from a judge; already the comments are giving him high marks.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was the first contemporary novel I fell in love with, and it sketched out what I wanted in my fiction from that point on: international intrigue, linguistic shamanism, and Salvador Dalí in a brass diving helmet. I can only remember finding one flaw in Kavalier and Clay—and it pissed me off to no end. The back flap included the following note about our author: “He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Ayelet Waldman, also a novelist, and their children.” I immediately wished I could unread that. Why foreclose the possibility that I was reading a gay writer describe Sam Clay’s sore fingertips in his lover’s mouth? I understand, theoretically, being in a happy marriage and wanting to celebrate that in print. But get it off my dust jacket, man!
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