slide

William Maxwell: Bright Center of Heaven

Over the past year I have become a big fan of the nonprofit publisher The Library of America and their books (see their inspirational 25th Anniversary movie here).  For sometime, the dust jackets on their editions turned me away.  I’m not a huge fan.  However, I got one of the books,…

slide

Kathleen Winter: Annabel

Fifth and final stop on the 2010 Giller shortlist for me is Kathleen Winter’s Annabel (2010), an intriguing story I’ve been looking forward to reading since I saw KevinfromCanada’s review of it earlier this year.  First, there is the cold wilderness setting of Labrador.  I like dwelling in harsh weather…

slide

KevinfromCanada’s 2010 Giller Shortlist Reviews

I am afraid that at times I have neglected to link to Shadow Giller Jury chair KevinfromCanada’s review of this year’s Giller shortlist.  He has read and reviewed all five.  My review of Annabel is forthcoming, and then I will have also read and reviewed all of this year’s shortlist….

slide

Frances Hwang: “Blue Roses”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers). Frances Hwang’s “Blue Roses” was originally published in the November 1, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. I’ve put off writing about this story long enough.  Sometimes the…

slide

Johanna Skibsrud: The Sentimentalists

Fourth stop on the Giller shortlist.  Only Annabel left.  As a quick reminder, I really enjoyed Alexander MacLeod’s short story collection Light Lifting, but I didn’t really like the last two.  To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for The Sentimentalists (2009), which, as a paperback with a sturdy dust jacket and…

slide

Sarah Selecky: This Cake Is for the Party

For me, stop number three of the Giller shortlist is the second collection of short stories, This Cake Is for the Party(2010), Sarah Selecky’s debut.  As I said when reviewing Alexander MacLeod’s debut, Light Lifting, debut short story collections are tricky things.  The short story, as a form, is quite…

slide

Review Index by Author

Because the drop-down menu on the right-hand sidebar becomes more cumbersome the more categories are added to it, I’ve decided it’s time to create a review index.  The first index available is arranged by author.  I hope to add one arranged by title soon (that one will take some work).  You can…

slide

David Means: “The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934″

Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage. David Means’ “The Tree Line, Kansas, 1934″ was originally published in the October 25, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Even though I thought it was written with an impressive frenetic energy, I didn’t much like…

slide

David Bergen: The Matter with Morris

My second stop on this year’s Giller shortlist is David Bergen’s The Matter with Morris(2010).  Bergen won the Giller in 2005 for The Time in Between, and he was shortlisted in 2008 for The Retreat.  The other authors on this year’s shortlist are all first-time Giller finalists.  None has ever…

slide

2010 National Book Award Finalists

The 2010 National Book Award Finalists have been announced.  What surprises many is that Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom is not among the fiction finalists.  What surprises me is that Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squadis not among the fiction finalists.  I’m pleased, though, that Nicole Krauss’s Great House is…

slide

Richard Powers: “To the Measures Fall”

Click here to read the abstract of the story on The New Yorker webpage (this week’s story is available only for subscribers). Richard Powers’ “To the Measures Fall” was originally published in the October 18, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Another story only for subscribers. Perhaps The New Yorker is…

slide

The 2010 Man Booker Prize Winner

Howard Jacobson has won the 2010 Man Booker Prize for The Finkler Question.  I loved Galgut’s In a Strange Room, but I’m very happy that The Finkler Question won. This year was a good year for me.  Of the four shortlisters I read, I would have been happy had In…

slide

Alexander MacLeod: Light Lifting

After the four Giller Prize longlisters I read (The Imperfectionists, Lemon, Player One, and The Debba) each failed to make the cut to the next round, I had to start the shortlist from scratch.  I decided to start with one that I have been looking forward to the most, Alexander MacLeod’s…

slide

Howard Jacobson: The Finkler Question

When the Booker longlist was announced, I didn’t feel compelled to read Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question (2010).  KevinfromCanada justified my initial feelings when he abandoned the book (when The Finkler Question made the shortlist, KFC did read the book through to the end, but still didn’t like it).  Most…

slide

2010 Nobel Prize for Literature

You’ve probably heard, but this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Mario Vargas Llosa. This was a nice surprise since it appears the committee figured out a way to plug the leak they’ve had the past few years.  I haven’t read anything by Vargas Llosa, but I…

slide

The New Yorker‘s 20 Under 40 Recap

At the end of September, the last of 2010’s “20 Under 40″ piece of fiction was published in The New Yorker.  I thought it might be a good idea to post a quick recap here on the main page to see if anyone has any thoughts on the experience of…

slide

2010 Giller Prize Shortlist

The winner will be announced on November 9. David Bergen: The Matter with Morris Alexander MacLeod: Light Lifting Sarah Selecky: This Cake Is for the Party Johanna Skibsrud: The Sentimentalist Kathleen Winter: Annabel Only David Bergen has been here before, and he took the prize in 2005 for The Time in…

Murno Corrie

Alice Munro: “Corrie”

Trevor reviews Alice Munro’s “Corrie,” from the October 11, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. Read the full post.

slide

Avner Mandelman: The Debba

If it weren’t for its inclusion on the Giller Prize longlist, early in my reading I would have abandoned The Debba(2010).  Somewhere on the internet, KevinfromCanada made an analogy between a falling tree and the development of one’s opinion of a book.  At first, the tree may swivel in all directions,…