Monday, August 03, 2009

The Short Review August 2009 Summer Reading

Find some air conditioning if you're in temperatures like mine (sorry to those of you in the southern hemisphere, don't mean to make you feel bad - stay warm) And then grab yourself a book. Want some reading ideas? The latest issue of The Short Review has plenty:

First, we have not only a review of Chris Beckett's Edge Hill Prize-winning short story collection, The Turing Test (written by me - I loved it!) and an interview with Chris about the book, but a special interview with Chris on The Short Review blog, where he talks about his 20 year relationship with UK science fiction magazine, Interzone, whose "constructive rejections" spurred him on - something all writers wish we had, eh?

The rest of the issue? Reviews of new new writing from New Zealand and from Birkbeck College, debut collections from across the globe featuring elegies, liars, the turing test, life in the universe, nature's magician, floating orders, stories from the west's wet edge, and classics by Oscar Wilde.

And, as ever, author interviews with as many as we can track down. A taster:

Petina Gappah, author of An Elegy for Easterly:
"My rather lofty idea then was that the main character in the collection was the country of Zimbabwe itself, and I wanted the reader to see it grow or regress through each story. But that approach was too artificial, too forced, and in the end, the stories simply fell into place on the basis of which one I managed to finish editing first .."
Alan McMonagle, author of Liar, Liar:
"Stories are revelations, discoveries, confessions, little explosions. They attempt to be of reality and, at the same time, to stretch reality. ... Many of my efforts eschew the classic moment of epiphany. So early into a writing career I'm happy for my characters to "emerge." It's that Flannery O’Connor thing of people being the way they are despite what has happened as opposed to because of what has happened.."

Michael J Farrell, author of Life in the Universe:
"I am immensely grateful to the people buying my book. I am puzzled by the huge popularity of chick lit. I don't think this attitude is snobbishness or envy. The law of averages would indicate some people ought to like chick lit. But so many? It must surely make a difference to a population or a civilization that so many like, nay love, this level of writing, and are to that extent usually turned off by other forms of literature"
Read it all and more right here.

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