Friday, March 13, 2009

Liars' League readings and Short Stories on House

I'm back home in Israel now after a week of traveling - from Belgium to London, London to Jerusalem. I tripped off the Eurostar for a lovely meet-up with Vanessa in St Pancras on Monday involving cupcakes and much short story discussions! More news on that to come.

The Liars' League event on Tuesday night was great fun, five stories on the theme of Art & Science. My story, The Painter and the Physicist, was beautifully read by Susan Crothers. Follow the link to read the story online or listen to it - highly recommended! A wonderful thing the Liars are doing, a wonderful boost for the short story and for live story-telling (I am still thinking about the story with the zombie mice). Thank you to Cynthia, Elaine and Susannah for coming and for the great discussions before and after.

Now, you know that short stories are experiencing that renaissance everyone's talking about when they are mentioned on one of the most popular programs on television (and a personal favourite of mine): House.

The episode began (no spoilers, I promise) at a book launch, where a reluctant bestselling novelist was forced to make a small speech. He alluded to the new book and hoped it would also be a bestseller - at which point his publisher interruped to say something along the lines of
"Of course it won't be a bestseller, it's a short story collection, everyone knows short stories don't sell."
And then he "explained" without mincing his words that this book was only being published because the novelist's agent wanted to keep him happy, not because anyone thought it would do well.

This... wait for it... was the first sign that viewers were supposed to understand that this man was suffering from... Frontal Lobe Disinhibition, which meant that he said whatever was on his mind! Short stories were being beaten up on in the service of medical diagnosis! There are some of us who would say that his statement was evidence of something else entirely (publishers' insanity? great-writing-blindness?), but I was pretty amused that this was the TV writers' choice to first indicate something was very, very wrong!

One day, maybe, the great Dr House will be glimpsed perusing a copy of The White Road and Other Stories. Even if he flings it away in disgust or throws it at 13's head, I would be happy. An authoress can but dream...


SueG said...

Terrific. I love Hugh Laurie and love the fact that he's really "one of ours." And I'm so glad the reading went well. It's a great idea fro an event - wish i had thought of it! Glad you're home safely. xo

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

Tania, I'm tired on your behalf reading about all of your travels! I'm not a fan of House and maybe more so now. The show I love is Huff (another one word H show)- fantastic characterization- it is such a pleasure to watch even if it is often heart wrenching to watch the crashing of so many dysfunctional people.

Glad you're home safe and sound.


Sarah Hilary said...

Oh I LOVE House! That's so cool.

cherys said...

Good to see you so well. And what a pleasure to meet James and Cynthia - both such gorgeous, bright, creative people.

X Susannah

Nik's Blog said...

Lovely reading of a great story. And good on the House writers! ;)


annie clarkson said...

Wonderful story... and well read I thought... well done.

J.W. Nicklaus said...

Being a writer and lover of short stories I'm so glad to see them getting some much-deserved visibility. And your comment about House throwing the book aside--spot on!

I now must check out your stories! I just recently read a collection by Mary Akers, Women Up On Blocks, and I highly recommend it.

J.W. Nicklaus
The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between

Tania Hershman said...

Sue - not sure if House is a short story man himself, but I found it funny!

Lauri, I loved Huff too, very sad when they axed it, it was so good!

Sarah - wait til you see the episode, it's damn good.

Susannah, so glad we managed to meet, and isn't Cynthia fabulous? A real artist. Of course, James too, that goes without saying :)

Nik, she read it so beautifully, eh? I haven't listened to the recording yet, I still have the live reading in my head.

Annie, thanks, so glad you liked it!

J.W., so nice to meet you, thanks for popping by and thanks for the short story collection recommendation, I will get onto that one!

Deborah Rey said...

Why don't you send Dr House a copy of your book, Tania? If the bloke has any brains left he'll realise they are terrific ... at least, I think so (and they say I'm not really stupid).
Warmest regards and shalom,


Tania Hershman said...

Deborah, what a great idea! I am about to watch the latest episode so will formulate my plan :) Shalom to you too, when are you coming to visit?!

Deborah Rey said...

No visiting anywhere abroad for me? Tania. When you're on oxygen, you're a total no-no for airlines and I'm on O² 24/24 hours + wheelchaired, which is also a problem when it's an electric one. Weight + batteries.
I'll think of you during Pesach and who knows, maybe the Prophet will take me along to help him finish his glass of wine.

Let me know how you fare with Dr. House.

Shalom again and have a good, warm and peaceful Pesach,