Last night I had the great pleasure of hearing Stella Prize 2019 winner, Vicki Laveau-Harvie, talk about her memoir, The Erratics.
Vicki was in conversation with Louise Swinn, chair of the 2019 judging panel. They began by discussing the broad themes of the novel – dysfunction and mental health in families, and sibling rivalries. The response from readers was overwhelmingly “This is my story.” Continue reading
Enjoying: selecting my Easter holiday reading. Continue reading
Because I am in #campold, a dinner party conversation I had last weekend was about colonoscopies. More specifically, the person who brought it up was talking about their anxiety – they’ve never had a colonoscopy. Neither have I*, which is probably why I gleefully suggested they should read the hilarious chapter on colonoscopies in David Sedaris’s eighth collection of essays, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Continue reading
We caught the train from Montepulciano to Naples, and drove from there to Sorrento (with me quietly congratulating myself on the decision to hire drivers in Italy rather than get behind the wheel ourselves. Traffic in Naples was insane). We had four nights in Sorrento (I can already tell you, it wasn’t long enough). The highlights: Continue reading
Is there such thing as a literary poo joke…?
Jen Beagin’s Vacuum in the Dark opens with Mona, a twenty-six-year-old house cleaner, accidentally washing her hands with a poo, mistaking it for a ‘fancy hippie soap.’ She immediately refers to her imaginary friend, Terry Gross, for advice. Terry suggests breathing through her mouth and repeat rinsing.
“The shits are real, Terry,” Mona said. “They have heft. They engage all the senses.”
“Start keeping a record of some kind,” Terry suggested, as Mona finished vacuuming. “Indicate the time of day, the location, plus a brief description, and maybe include a drawing.” Continue reading
Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. Continue reading
Time heals all wounds… Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it… History repeats itself… Give me a child before the age of seven and I’ll give you the woman… You can’t enter the same river twice…
The sayings might be familiar but everything Maria Tumarkin does in Axiomatic to explore them, is not. In five loosely linked chapters, Turmarkin uses stories about suicide, a child’s kidnapping, Holocaust survival, crime, and past relationships to challenge our understanding of these well-worn axioms. Continue reading
01. Isn’t John Irving’s writing process bananas?! (I can’t wait for Darkness as a Bride.) Continue reading
The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie is the winner of the 2019 Stella Prize. Continue reading
Do I dare make a prediction? I’ve been woefully wrong the last few years… Continue reading