Why Salter Writes

29 11 2017

JAMES SALTER: WHY I WRITE

AN AMERICAN MASTER ON THE ORIGINS OF HIS CRAFT

“To write! What a marvelous thing!” When he was old and forgotten, living in a rundown house in the dreary suburbs of Paris, Léautaud wrote these lines. He was unmarried, childless, alone. The world of the theater in which he had worked as a critic for years was now dark for him, but from the ruins of his life these words rose. To write!

One thinks of many writers who might have said this, Anne Sexton, even though she committed suicide, or Hemingway or Virginia Woolf, who both did also, or Faulkner, scorned in his rural town, or the wreckage that was Fitzgerald in the end. The thing that is marvelous is literature, which is like the sea, and the exaltation of being near it, whether you are a powerful swimmer or wading by the shore. The act of writing, though often tedious, can still provide extraordinary pleasure. For me that comes line by line at the tip of a pen, which is what I like to write with, and the page on which the lines are written, the pages, can be the most valuable thing I will ever own.

Read further @ Literary Hub





Celebrate Books Like the Oscars

3 06 2016

Lisa Lucas, publisher of Guernica magazine, will take over as executive director of the National Book Foundation on March 14

Head of the National Foundation, wants you to love reading

Lisa Lucas is a rare combination: a high-energy bookish extrovert.

“If I can convince a small fraction of people to feel the same way that I feel about reading,” she said, “then I’ve done my job.”

“People who like movies watch the Oscars,” she said. “Why don’t we celebrate books in the same way?”

Her Wall Street office was lined with nearly bare bookshelves, and the hallway outside was filled with outgoing boxes of books. In two weeks publishers would begin flooding the foundation with submissions for the 2016 National Book Awards, which have been given in various forms since 1950. The National Book Foundation was created to manage the awards and its annual November ceremony.

“For me, it has always felt like the Oscars of books,” she said. “I think that we need more people to feel like that.”

The National Book Awards, after all, gave its young adult literature prize to Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” despite sometimes controversial subject matter; it’s the prize that brought Patti Smith to tears when her memoir, “Just Kids,” won the nonfiction prize, and was met with a surge of social media delight when Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” received the nonfiction prize in 2015. Novelists William Faulkner, Bernard Malamud, John Updike and Philip Roth won the fiction prize more than once.

Read further @ LATimes