George Saunders won $20,000 for his collection of stories Tenth of December. According to the judges of the Story Prize: “George Saunders offers a vision and version of our world that takes into account the serious menace all around us without denying the absurd pleasures that punctuate life.” Runners-up Andrea Barrett for Archangel and Rebecca Lee for Bobcat each won $5,000. You can read the title story from Tenth of December in this NPR post. And check the EPL catalog for other works by this author.
Imagine hearing Will Shakespeare read one of his sonnets to you. How about Dickens regaling listeners with a reading from Oliver Twist? Proust, reciting in French about those madeleines? That would require a time-traveler willing to schlep around a whole lot of not-yet-invented recording equipment. But for some authors of the more recent past, it is possible to listen to them speak their own words thanks to the an idea dreamed up by Lynne and Harry Schwartz in 1962.
As Susan Stamberg reports in this Morning Edition feature from today’s show, the Schwartz’s, both avid readers, were taken with the recordings of very established authors–Dylan Thomas and T. S. Eliot for instance–and realized that there were younger, less established authors who might want to cut recordings. And, so in 1962, the project was launched. Among the first writers they record were James Baldwin, Philip Roth, Bernard Malamud and John Updike. Lynne and Harry’s original recordings were released in 1963. Now, they’re being re-issued on CDs and audio files as Calliope Author Readings.
Listen to the whole story here.
Picture above: James Baldwin was the first in a series of authors Harry and Lynne Sharon Schwartz recorded.
French filmmaker Alain Resnais died on Saturday in Paris at the age of 91. Most well-known for his films Last Year at Marienbad and Hiroshima Mon Amour, Mr. Resnais was often associated with French New Wave directors Jean-Luc Godard and Francoise Truffaut. “Fascinated by the ability of film editing to take apart and reassemble fragments of time, Mr Resnais incorporated the effects of scrambled memories, deja vu and fantasy into his work.” Born in 1922 in Brittany, he began making short films at the age of 14. Although most of his films were serious in nature, he loved cartoons, comedy and Broadway musicals, and was inspired by the television show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Recently honored at the Berlin Film Festival for his last film “The Life of Riley”, Mr. Resnais was editing drafts for his next project from his hospital bed. Read more about this influential director in this NYT article. And check the EPL catalog for his works.
This list of “22 Books You Should Read Now, Based on Your Childhood Favorites” is causing quite the debate here at the Reader’s Services Desk. Some of the recommendations we vehemently disagree with: Swamplandia! for fans of A Wrinkle in Time??! Others are spot-on: Love The Giver? Try Never Let Me Go.
Poet Alex Lemon
This month for Poetry 365 we’re featuring Alex Lemon’s stellar new volume The Wish Book. Tightly coiled, kaleidoscopic, and full of heart, this fourth collection from the author of Happy blends “the energy of a carnival barker with the precise prosody of a master craftsman.” Favorably compared to the work of Lucia Perillo and Laura Kasischke, these 43 dazzling poems have been praised by Bob Hicok for “showing us what we have and how briefly we have it.” So don’t miss this terrific new book, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.
Photograph by LaMont Hamilton
Dr. Huey Copeland is an Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University and the author of Bound to Appear: Art, Slavery, and the Site of Blackness in Multicultural America, published just last year by the University of Chicago Press. On Thursday, March 6th, he will discuss his new book project In the Arms of the Negress: A Brief History of Modern Artistic Practice when he visits EPL’s 1st Floor Community Meeting Room at 7 p.m. as part of the Evanston Northwestern Humanities Lecture Series. While exploring a transnational history of modern contemporary art, Dr. Copeland’s lecture will examine how the figure of the “negress” has influenced the way black women are represented in the visual arts as well as the way they represent themselves. In anticipation of his visit, we recently spoke with him via email about the origins of the term “negress,” the Art Workers’ Coalition vs. MoMA, his forthcoming book, and the pioneering black women artists you should know.
For the first time in history, 26 hats from Dr. Seuss’s personal collection, along with his original artwork, will be touring the country, stopping in six states. His sister Marnie said that he collected unique and historic hats using them as a foundation for his book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, which marked its 75th anniversary last year. Making their way around the country “in a specially retrofitted old-fashioned steamer trunk,” the collection’s next stop is Northampton, Mass. See where else the collection will be touring in this NPR article.