Monday, January 9, 2012

Poet, Prose Stylist, and Perhaps Puppeteer Pops into Boswell This Wednesday, January 11.

"I just enjoy this tute! Thanks for expressing so many great suggestions along with us almost all! I like your talent pertaining to materials. Our god Thank you you!"

It's so heartwarming to see how well my posts go over with readers, particularly ones linking comments to gold-buying and other get-rich quick websites.  I can't imagine how all you folks will respond to today's blog, reminding folks of a week of another interesting event this week at Boswell.

I think we've covered Ayad Akhtar pretty well (Thursday, January 12, 7 pm, for those hiding under a rock), but we've got another fine author this week, Leigh Stein, whose first novel from Melville House, The Fallback Plan, will be featured this Wednesday, January 11, 7 pm.

Stein's novel covers the life after college territory of many a first novel (they are somtimes called slacker lit-we've got at least one more event this winter from an author whose novel veers this territory), but does so in a particularly exuberant and wry manner. Esther is home with a drama degree, not quite ready to give up on an acting career. A babysitting opportunity comes up (or rather, is thrust at her), and really, is there any choice in the matter?

Is Esther's lethargy really boredom or is it closer to depression? Is it a good idea to be hanging around with her old pal Pickle and his devastatingly handsome friend Jack? And could this new nanny-esque role be just the jolt Esther needs for a jumpstart into adulthood?

Now that I think about it, the nanny is even more of a modern icon that has been featured in many a Boswell event. Though we never hosted the authors of The Nanny Diaries, works from Lorrie Moore, Lori Tharps, and Mona Simpson have looked at the nanny, the nannied, and the nanny needer from just about every angle. I saw one advance reviewer compare Stein to Ms. Moore. Another, at Booklist, saw The Fallback Plan as a modern interpretation of Judy Blume's Are You There God, It's Me Margaret. Hey, Chuck Palahniuk just took a turn at that. Maybe we'll start moving the Blume young adult books again. We sell her middle-grade work more successfully.

And hey, here's a Gary Shteyngart quote: "Beautiful, funny, thrilling and true."

Here's the Journal Sentinel's event post. I mention this because Mr. Higgins let me know that the arts posts on Tap--reviews and interviews and such, do not count towards your article minimum for subscribing. They continue to be free! Thanks for clearing that up.

Did I mention that Stein is a triple threat? In addition to her fiction writing and blogging, Stein's first book of poetry will  also come out later in 2012. It's called Dispatches from the Future and it's been compared to Ada Limón and Tao Lin. Stein has received an Amy award from the magazine Poets and Writers. Have us hold a copy for you when it comes out in June.

Stein's poetry possesses the same cheekiness as her fiction, only perhaps taken to another level. Here's a video from her 2010 blog, Poets and Puppets:

So isn't it fair for me to call Stein a puppeteer? I've got video proof.

And finally, since I'm throwing in everything but the kitchen sink here, here's a list of the 33 books Stein read in 2011. See where you overlap. And perhaps see you this Wednesday, January 11, at Boswell.

And to close, perhaps we'll get a lovely comment such as this from one of our many readers, with a side business in selling prepaid phone cards: "Well this is good info for me. Thanks for sharing this!"

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