Posts Tagged ‘George Pelecanos’


Novelist Jayne Anne Phillips in North Carolina; More Than A Dozen Authors in D.C.

February 27, 2009

33491468Among the big literary events in North Carolina this weekend is a visit by Jayne Anne Phillips, discussing her highly acclaimed new novel, Lark & Termite, which tells twin stories: the first set in the Korean War; the second in a small West Virginia community. In his review for the Washington Post, critic Ron Charles said, “With her striking mixture of hallucinatory poetry and gritty realism, Phillips is trying to articulate the transcendence of love, the sort of unity among deeply devoted people that reverberates beneath the rational world. As the novel moves toward a crescendo of harrowing revelations and brutal confrontations, Phillips surprises us again with another disorienting touch of mysticism and a finale that mingles despair and triumph, naiveté and spiritual insight, a startling demonstration of ‘how lightning fast things can go right or wrong.'” 

Phillips reads from the new novel tonight (Friday, February 27) at 7:30 p.m. at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

In and Around D.C.

Meanwhile, I’ll be attending two events in the D.C. area over the next few days. 

First, on Saturday, February 28, American Independent Writers and George Mason University’s MFA Program host a Fiction Writing Seminar on Mason’s Fairfax, Virginia campus, with headliners Jeffrey Deaver and Marita Golden and featuring a wide array of writers, including yours truly. A full schedule was published earlier on my website here.

Then, on Monday evening, March 2, PEN/Faulkner is hosting a fundraiser for its Writers in Schools Program. The event, at Comet Ping Pong in Northwest D.C., features George Pelecanos , Matthew Klam, Mary Kay Zuravleff, Helon Habila, and others. A donation of $25 gets you free pizza, beer, and more writers than you can shake a stick at. (Not that I would advise shaking a stick at George Pelecanos, of course.)  

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McIntyre’s Books & N.C. Poetry Society

January 21, 2009
M. Scott Douglass

M. Scott Douglass

Top on this week’s list of events in the Triangle area of North Carolina is a reading by poets from the N.C. Poetry Society — part of a year-long series hosted by McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village. Jonathan K. Rice, editor of the Iodine Poetry Journal and author most recently of the 2006 collection Ukulele and Other Poems, and M. Scott Douglass, head of Main Street Rag Publishing Company and author of numerous poetry collections including Auditioning for Heaven, will read selections of their work on Thursday evening, January 22, at 7 p.m.

Also of note on this week’s schedule: McSweeney’s contributor Paul Maliszewski discusses his new book, Fakers: Hoaxers, Con Artists, Counterfeiters, and Other Great Pretenders, on Friday, January 23, at 7 p.m. at Durham’s Regulator Bookshop.

Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland

Several events are of note in the D.C. metropolitan area this week. 

First up, Jayne Anne Phillips arrives in the area in the wake of great reviews for her new novel Lark & Termite. She’ll be at Politics and Prose  in D.C. on Friday, January 23, at 7 p.m.

Then on Sunday afternoon, January 25, at 2 p.m., the Writer’s Center in Bethesda kicks off its week-long 32nd birthday celebration with a reading by two alums of the Center’s programs: Alex MacLennan and James Matthews.

And Monday evening brings George Pelecanos to the Central Branch of the Arlington Public Library to discuss his new book, The Turnaround. That reading begins at 7 p.m.

Also that night, Leonard Downie Jr. discusses his new political thriller, The Rules of the Game, at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose. Downie, of course, is the former executive editor of the Post. If only he were still at the helm of the paper, perhaps we could ask him more about this. (Likely, someone will ask anyway.)

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In Praise of Shorter Works

October 3, 2008

This week and next provide great boons for lovers of short mystery fiction. First up is the latest installment of The Best American Mystery Stories, guest edited this year by George Pelecanos, with the tremendous help of series editor Otto Penzler and his colleague, Michele Slung. In addition to some of the big names in contemporary crime writing — James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, and S.J. Rozan, for example — the collection also features as unlikely a name as Alice Munro (proving yet again that the divide some people see between so-called “high literature” and “genre fiction” isn’t quite as wide as one might think). The book’s official pub date is next week, but mine arrived early from Amazon. Notably, several of this year’s selections (four, in fact) are drawn from some of the many Noir anthologies published by Akashic Books; coincidentally four of the stories from last year’s Best American Mystery Stories were also drawn from those books — pointing the way to other great short story collections for readers to explore.

Another of the stories from last year’s Best American Mystery Stories, Laura Lippman’s “One True Love,” will be republished in Lippman’s own new collection of shorter works, Hardly Knew Her, due in stores early next week as well (and featuring an introduction by Pelecanos, who’s really getting around these days when it comes to short fiction collections, given this book, the one above, and the new D.C. Noir 2: The Classics). Fans of Lippman’s “One True Love” will be glad to see that main character Heloise, a D.C. madam and suburban soccer mom, returns in a never-before-published novella-length piece, “Scratch a Woman,” written especially for this collection. The book’s release is timed in conjunction with this year’s Bouchercon, which takes begins October 9 in Lippman’s hometown of Baltimore, but while most stories take place there, others stretch out across the country and even as far away as Dublin. (Please also note that Lippman’s novella “The Girl in the Green Raincoat” is in the midst of being serialized in the New York Times Magazine.)

Finally, I just received the December issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, notable for a couple of reasons. First (and most obviously upon picking it up), the magazine has received a slight expansion — taller by 5/16 of an inch and wider by 5/8 of an inch — for more dramatic presentation of the pulp art covers, greater open space and enhanced readability inside the covers, according to editor Janet Hutchings. The second thing that’s notable here? This issue features the last original story that Edward D. Hoch wrote for EQMM — “The Alexandrian Solution” — the culmination of more than 35 years of unbroken publication in the magazine. Hoch’s stories aren’t gone completely from these pages, because future issues will includes stories that appeared elsewhere. But this last exclusive one here stands as a capstone piece and a fitting way for the magazine to round out its year.

— Art Taylor

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D.C. Noir 2: The Classics

September 24, 2008

Quick note between Fall for the Book postings: Today’s Washington Post published my review of the new anthology, D.C. Noir 2: The Classics, edited by George Pelecanos. Not all of it’s noir, in my opinion, but it’s a top-notch anthology nonetheless. Check out the full review here — or even better, check out the book itself! Definitely worth reading. 

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