Friday, July 25, 2008

Erotomania/Levy in the LA Times Book Review.

In a very discouraging piece of news, it was revealed earlier this week that the Los Angeles Times will discontinue it's standalone Book Review. The final supplement will appear in this Sunday's issue.

I was very happy to discover that in this past Sunday's issue (7/20 -- second to last issue ... ever), Richard Rayner reviewed Francis Levy's Erotomania: A Romance in his monthly "Paperback Writers" section.

This is what he had to say:
"[Levy's] excellent too, like Miller and Bukowski, on the mechanics and energy and animal filth of rumpy-pumpy, bringing to his sex scenes all the humor they need. There's a hilarious sequence in which the lovers use art criticism as a sex aid. Readers will never think of Robert Hughes or the abstract Expressionists in quite the same way. Sex is familiar, but it's perennial, and Levy makes it fresh."

The Los Angeles Times has been very supportive of our titles so far this year, but even had they not been, I'd be sad to see the Book Review go. I realized this when I randomly told my two-year-old daughter (jokingly), "You'll never know the Los Angeles Times Book Review in your lifetime," and I stopped because I imagined the lack of appreciation of the literary arts in the mainstream media, and where things could go during her lifetime. Something has to change.

The Neugeboren Train Keeps On Rollin'.

Steven Kellman, a greatly respected reviewer, contributed his insightful take on Jay Neugeboren's 1940 on The Huffington Post this past week.

There was this particularly convincing passage:

"The wisdom of Neugeboren's novel comes from its recognition that final solutions evade without answering questions. Bloch rejects facile attempts to explain Hitler and subdue Daniel. The advice he quotes from Rainer Maria Rilke, "to have patience with everything unresolved and to try to love the questions themselves," is as valuable in 2008 as it is in 1940."

Rudolph Wurlitzer Interviewed by Michael Silverblatt.

Rudolph Wurlitzer was interviewed by Michael Silverblatt on KCRW's Bookworm radio program.

The interview was broadcast in Los Angeles on July 24, and is available for download, podcast, or in other related mediums through KCRW's website.

Silverblatt provides a very focused, engaged forum for author's to discuss their work, and his take is always extremely thoughtful, prepared, and passionate.

This is worth checking out for anyone interested in the dynamics behind The Drop Edge of Yonder and background to the book.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

1940 Review in Washington Post.

The Washington Post ran a wonderful review of Jay Neugeboren's masterful novel, 1940, in today's issue of the paper.

Tova Reich, author of the novel My Holocaust, wrote the review, titled "Diagnosing Hitler." Reich called 1940 "Intelligent and absorbing."

Also, excerpted from the review:
"Complexity is the underlying motif of Neugeboren's subtle and affecting novel -- the complexity of the human hearts Elisabeth draws, of the subway system her father helped create, of the subterranean world under the city streets that so attracts Daniel, and, most important, of the roots of evil hidden in Bloch's memories of Hitler."

Add to that, a splendid write-up in the Summer Issue of the Jewish Book World, which declared that "this well written ... novel merits a wide, appreciative audience."