Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Memoir Pitfalls, Literati Write the News, Your Summer Submission Schedule, and a bit 'o fun

Welcome to all my new readers!

It's the end of the week (okay, technically it's already Saturday, but humor me) and that means Friday Fridge Clean-Out. Unfamiliar with the term? It's what I call "dinner" when I manage to pull together a meal of sorts from a refrigerator overloaded with leftovers (home cooked or take out), scraps, tidbits, and, if I’m lucky, a few delicious but overlooked fresh items hiding behind the ketchup. On the blog, Fridge Clean-Out means it's time to pass along a selection of what I found of interest around the web recently, and hope you find a few gems along the buffet line.

> First up is this piece in the Los Angeles Times' Books section, by Marion Winik, aptly titled, "The pitfalls of one's recall," and addresses the thorny issue of the other characters in memoir; the relatives, spouses, friends, former lovers, ex-friends, and others who find their way into a memoir, and who may or may not like it. One of Winik's many excellent points is:

"This was the beginning of my understanding of the most serious moral principle of memoir: The act of writing about another person occurs not just in the world of literature but in real life. It cannot help but change your relationship, and this should be the first thing you think about."

> Can a website thrive by making "handpicked book recommendations"? The folks at Flashlight Worthy Books think so. Looks interesting.

> What happens when the daily newspaper is reported, written, and edited by novelists, memoirists, and poets? Check this report in The Forward on the June 10 experiment by an Israeli newspaper. While there was solid, traditional reporting, there was also, perhaps predictably, this:

"…the stock market summary by author Avri Herling. It went like this: Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place… Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points …The guy from the shakshuka [an Israeli egg-and-tomato dish] shop raised his prices again…."

But also this:

"…79-year-old author Yoram Kaniuk, whose novel “Adam Resurrected” was recently adapted for a movie starring Jeff Goldblum and Ayelet Zurer. He went into the field to write about couples in the hospital cancer ward. The thing is, he’s a cancer patient, too. “A woman walking with a cane brings her partner a cup of coffee with a trembling hand. The looks they exchange are sexier than any performance by Madonna and cost a good deal less,” Kaniuk wrote. “I think about what would happen if I were to get better…how I would live without the human delicacy to which I am witness?”

“I got more telephone calls today than I have in years past,” Kaniuk said in a phone interview. “People were very moved, because I wrote it like a writer and not like a journalist. If you see something beautiful and touching, why not write it?”
> At her blog, Sara in Vermont, author Sara J. Henry asks, what's the deal with MFA students who thinks it makes sense to draw dividing lines between the merits of their peers based on who is a "literary writer" and a "commercial writer"? I find this especially destructive because most writers who do become at least moderately successful at earning a partial living from their words, will find it necessary to straddle the line at some point. Enough said

> Pamela Redmond Satran has a new book due out soon titled after her hilarious blog, How Not to Act Old. An excerpt also appears in the current issue of More magazine. Pam is also, by the way, the author of "Maya Angelou's best poem ever." Really.

> On her blog, Poet Diane Lockward lists Journals That Read in the Summer, parts One, Two and Three. There, that ought to keep you out of the hammock.

Have a great weekend.

1 comment: said...

Steampunk. I think Maya Angelou invented the term.

Never would have heard of it if not for you Lisa.