Great American authors in the broad sense of the word. Caribbean writers and writers from Latin America are included. So a diverse perspective on American authors, for once.
Check the names out @ BookRiot
The first ten of the 100 must-read second novels. Not the debut, but the follow-ups. And I must say some of these I’ve read are amazing. Pride & Prejudice I’ve read in my teens and I find it still enticing. And In Time of the Butterflies, brings me to the reality of our region of the Caribbean. Which is your favorite one?
Read further for the rest @ BookRiot
In Helen Oyeyemi’s new short story collection, “What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours,” keys aren’t always, well, the key. We spoke to the 31-year-old fiction writer about the book, her nomadic lifestyle, and whether she considers her work political.
The Ibadan-born, London-raised, Prague-inclined fiction writer Helen Oyeyemi is currently living in Lexington, Kentucky, a city that greeted her January arrival with an ice storm. (“Quite unnerving.”) Oyeyemi, whose sixth work of fiction and first book of short stories, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, was published by Riverhead this month, is in town for a residency at the University of Kentucky. Oyeyemi is notoriously nomadic—she spent her 20s going from European capital to European capital, looking for a city she “could be in a relationship with”—and I expected the dreamy yet very much cosmopolitan author to be a little out of her depth in Appalachia.
But the dreaminess she brings to her fiction, which draws from a variety of mythological traditions, seems to carry into her life as well. “I find it quite hard for the place I’m physically in to make a dent on my mind,” she told me over the phone. “It might actually be because I read so much that I’m already in other places, so it’s just a difficulty in even knowing where I am at any given time.”
Read further @ Broadly
Kazuo Ishiguro’s nickname is not Kaz, as one may expect. Caz is the nickname of fellow author Caryl Phillips. Ishiguro is known as Ish. “I thought we needed some clarification,” Ishiguro told two audiences on Wednesday night in New York.
And while the opening of each talk was similar – the first with high school writers as part of the Unterberg Poetry Center’s Schools Project Program and the second at a bigger 92Y event – their more intimate conversation with the students about identity, memory and friendship became the evening’s highlight.
Ishiguro and Phillips have been friends for 30 years, since both their novels were “discovered” by editor Robert McCrum, and their relationship, and similarities, were a frequent topic.
“I don’t know if Caz and I have ever discussed each other’s work,” Ishiguro noted, when comparing how authors approach the work of their colleagues and peers. And while they may not have traded critiques, Phillips noted that their friendship has been a journey “paved with books”.
“When Ish writes a book, I read it. More terrifyingly, I teach it,” Phillips quipped.
Both writers were also immigrants to Great Britain: Ishiguro was five years old when he moved with his parents from Japan. Phillips was only four months old when he arrived with his parents from the island of Saint Kitts in the West Indies.
When asked about their impulses to write, both cited the desire to understand their parents, and their lives, better. “I wanted to understand where my parents came from, which is ultimately where I came from,” Phillips said. Ishiguro also expressed a curiosity for what life was like for his parents, but added that it’s selfish since “it’s really about myself”.
Elaborating further on his connection to the past in his writing, Phillips said it was a cliche, but true: “If you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you are. If you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going.”
But both Ishiguro and Phillips added later that, as immigrants, there should be no obligation to explore the connection between their two cultures: “I can’t find much artistic energy for this as a novelist.”
Read further @ The Guardian