The Los Angeles Review of Books’ Laura Bogart discusses multi-perspective narratives, writing outside experience, and indie publishing with Every Kind of Wanting‘s Gina Frangello. Read the full interview here.
1. What inspired you to write this collection?
TIME. Running out of it. When I started writing seriously, 50 years ago, I was already in my 30s with a husband and 2 kids. Once started, I was always on a deadline, a metaphor for —“Do it now or you’re dead.” When you’re 89, the metaphor is literal.
2. What are you reading now?
West of Eden : An American Place by Jean Stein. I’ve always admired the form of oral history she helped initiate and develop. This time I’m personally compelled by the Doheny family in the beginnings of LA, since my father-in-law was a major player in the Doheny defense team of O’Melveny & Myers.
3. What’s the one book you recommend over & over?
Sorry, but I can’t help but name The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, which have been my companion for over six decades. Not because he was a good writer, but because he was a great playwright. His scripts were meant to be performed, not read in a library. His is the language of spoken live action: his characters are us, you and me, living people, behaving well and ill, funny and tragic, cradle to grave.
4. Who are some of your writer mentors? And has that changed over time?
My mentors are all from the theater. I read plays for fun long before I learned to read novels. I began with Edna St. Vincent Millay, then Ibsen, O’Neill, Miller—which evolved into Tennessee Williams, Beckett, Pinter, Brecht, Sondheim.
5. Do you have any prized book possessions? A gift? A first edition?
Again, apologies for the cliché, but my honest answer is my Family Bible, which my Grandma Harper gave me when I was ten. Small and bound in brown leather with my name in gold letters under the title, Holy Bible with Helps, this edition of 1901 (Standard American Revised Version) is illustrated with paintings and maps, interlarded with ancient Sunday School ribbons I won from age 5 and upwards for being able to recite all the books of the Bible in under 5 minutes.
Trotsky in New York author Kenneth Ackerman talks Trotsky’s formative time in New York, his relationship with fellow revolutionary Lenin, and the baseball game that ignited the book with James McGrath Morris of the Washington Independent Review of Books. Read the full interview here.
Kim Brooks, author of The Houseguest, tackles themes of race and information overload in her essay, “The Problem of Caring,” for Manoush Zomorodi’s Note to Self podcast. Listen to the full podcast here.
The Chicago Review of Books names Gina Frangello’s Every Kind of Wanting and Abby Geni’s The Lightkeepers as fiction finalists in their inaugural Chicago Review of Books Awards, aka Chirbys. Read more about the Chirbys here.
French Girl With Mother author Norman Ollestad talks with Cade Scott about his early writing career, the books that inspire him and the art of sitting in a room alone. Listen to the full interview here.
Linda Tenenbaum of the World Socialist Web Site praises Kenneth Ackerman’s Trotsky in New York for its compelling exploration into one of history’s most contentious figures. Read the rest of the review here.