Kill Me Now, by local author Timmy Reed, is the journal of a skateboarder named Miles Lover kept over the summer between 8th grade and high school. Miles has divorced parents who live on opposite ends of Roland Park, younger twin sisters, and no friends — though he does see a fair bit of his pot dealer, whom he calls the Beaster Bunny. Midway through the summer, he develops a relationship with an old guy from the neighborhood named Mister Reese, along with his health aide, Diamontay, and their giant boa constrictor, Tickles.
‘Baltimore Writers Club’ is an occasional series by Marion Winik introducing new books from Baltimoreans.
One of the sweetest things about living in Baltimore has been the opportunity to be part of the active community of writers here, including the teachers and students I work with at UB, the authors I hear at readings, and many of those who sit in the audience with me. From this pool has come a group of friends who are the first readers and editors of each other’s work, something all writers need.
In this occasional series I’ll introduce new books from Baltimoreans I admire, and prevail on their authors to answer a few questions for Baltimore Fishbowl readers.
Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead and Housekeeping and many other wonderful books, is one of our best living writers. She will be speaking at Johns Hopkins tonight.
Originally posted, Thursday, June 12 – Two wonderful books have come out recently —Let Me See It,, by James Magruder this month, and The Tooth Fairy, by Cliff Chase, back in February. The first is a collection of linked short stories, the second a memoir, and both are fun to read, moving, and formally inventive — top notch, from this passionate reader’s point of view. Both feature gay male characters — Cliff’s narrator is Cliff, of course, and Jim has split himself into two fictional protagonists, cousins Tom and Elliot. Both writers are good friends of mine, I knew they would love each other’s work, and I also knew an evening of them reading together would be terrific entertainment. This is why I am hosting a book party for them at the Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Road, on June 19th at 7 pm, so I hope you can come.
Here’s some Winikesque backstory, plus excerpts I asked the guys to select.
Join The Ivy Bookshop staff as it welcome internationally renowned author Chang-rae Lee for a reading and book signing from his newest novel, On Such a Full Sea. The Ivy will raffle one copy of a limited, numbered edition of the book, with a specially designed cover and first-of-its-kind 3D printed slip case.
About the Book
In the future America depicted in On Such A Full Sea, society is strictly stratified by class. Abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. Members of the labor class — descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China — find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement.
Join Author Jonathan Grimwood on Thursday, October 24 at The Ivy Bookshop as he reads from his new novel of appetite and revolution, The Last Banquet. (Reminder: Justin Kramon visits the Ivy tonight, October 22 @ 7 p.m. Click here for more information.)
About the Book
Set against the backdrop of the Enlightenment, the delectable decadence of Versailles, and the French Revolution, The Last Banquet is an intimate epic that tells the story of one man’s quest to know the world through its many and marvelous flavors. Jean-Marie D’Aumont will try anything once, with consequences that are at times mouthwatering and at others fascinatingly macabre. Orphaned as a child, taken under the wing of a local nobleman and sent to an elite school for young gentlemen, Jean-Marie becomes an Enlightenment-era Zelig. He befriends Ben Franklin, corresponds with the Marquis de Sade and Voltaire, thwarts a peasant uprising, plays a key role in the Coriscan War of Independence and, among other feats, constructs the finest menagerie in all of Europe. Rising through the ranks of 18th-century French society, he feasts with lords, ladies, revolutionaries and eventually kings. He is a father, a husband, a devoted friend and an imaginative lover. But Jean-Marie’s every adventurous turn is decided by his obsessive quest to know all of the world’s flavors before that world changes forever.
Local writer and former Sun reporter Sujata Massey, author of the award-winning Rei Shimura series, will discuss her new novel, a love story set during the political and cultural upheaval of late Raj India at The Ivy Bookshop on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00.
About the Book
The term “sleeping dictionary” was coined for young Indian women who slept with British men and educated them in the ways of India. Set between 1925 and the end of World War II, The Sleeping Dictionary is the story of Kamala, born to a peasant family in West Bengal, who makes her way to Calcutta in the 1930s. Haunted by a forbidden love, she is caught between the raging independence movement and the British colonial society she finds herself inhabiting. This portrait of late Raj India is both a saga and a passionate love story.
Sure, the Internet’s slow-folding, death-of-print side effect saddens many of us who still cherish the tactile experience of holding a book or a magazine and hearing the pages turn as our brains take in the literature at hand. Book heartbreak aside, it’s heartening to remind ourselves that digital publishing itself doesn’t minimize our lit-reading options—it actually increases them. Although everything’s permutating in the world of fiction and poetry publishing, and I’m the first to complain about it, that doesn’t mean great writing’s not being born digitally all the time—same goes for on-the-rise online publishing imprints like Dzanc that raise funds to print books the old-fashioned way.
As long-established literary journals like Shenandoah bid farewell to print and take up residence online, so are numerous startup journals staking their claim on the web and in some cases even producing actual tangible books with artistic covers–the kind you can touch. And they’re using yet another fast-growing digital playing field to find their funds: Kickstarter.
Case in point: Cobalt, an online quarterly lit journal featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and interviews edited by University of Baltimore alums, wants you to visit their Kickstarter page and consider pledging part of the $2000+ they’ll need to produce their first book through Cobalt Press. Why should you consider this project among the other dozen your music-video-making friends are hounding you to help with?