Friday, October 11, 2013

Two Displays--Best American Everything and Chinese and Chinese-American Fiction.

Lots of new displays up in the last few weeks. The Best American Short Stories and company from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt arrived. If you don't know how this works, series editor Heidi Pitlor makes the first cut for Best American Short Stories and then the guest editor, in this case Elizabeth Strout, does the final choosing.

This years entries include Junot Díaz's "Miss Laura" (ticketed event Monday, October 14) and Shila Kohler's "Magic Man" (she came last year). One of Joan Wickersham's stories from The News from Spain is included (which one, as they are all called "The News from Spain", but it turns out they have alternate titles, in this case, this one is "The Tunnel." Plus while Antonya Nelson, who is among the chosen, isn't coming, her husband Robert Boswell is, for his novel Tumbledown. That's on October 28, 7 pm.

They use a similar formula for the other series. Best American Mystery Stories is series edited by Otto Penzler, and this time Lisa Scottoline is the guest editor. Recent attendee Emily St. John Mandel is one of the chosen, with her story "Drifter." Best American Science and Nature Writing is edited by Tim Folger, with guest editor Siddhartha Mukherjee. And Cheryl Strayed guest edits The Best American Essays this year, with series editor Robert Atwan. The new entry is The Best American Infographics, edtied by Gareth Cook. Hannah's friend Brandon Martin Anderson is featured on page 154!

It's not all HMH though. We've got the O'Henry Prize Stories 2013. The editor is Laura Furman, but they use a jury, which this year was Lauren Grff, Edith Pearlman, and JimShepard. You probably want to know which stories overlap both collections. Both collections have Nobel winner Alice Munro, but BASS features "Train" while the O'Henry touts "Leaving Maverley."

We've just put up a display of Chinese and Chinese American fiction, being that we're hosting Amy Tan at Alverno College's Pitman Theatre on Monday, November 7, 7 pm. Tickets are at Brown Paper Tickets and are the cost of the book plus tax and a small service fee. The new novel is The Valley of Amazement, and it is one of several novels this fall that are from authors who've had a long time between releases.

The starred Booklist review notes that "Tan's prodigious, sumptuously descriptive, historically grounded, sexually candid, and elaborately plotted novel counters violence, exploitation, betrayal, and tragic cultural divides with beauty, wit, and transcendent friendships between women." More on that to come. And look for our Journal Sentinel ad in the Cue section on Sunday, which highlights a number of our upcoming ticketed events.

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