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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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Author readings at Malaprop's

Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe
August 12, 7 PM
free to the public

Marisha Pessl reads from, Special Topics in Calamity Physics


photo credit: Laura Rose
The New York Times book review by Janet Maslin; July 31, 2006 states: "Marisha Pessl's 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics' is the most flashily erudite first novel since Jonathan Safran Foer's 'Everything Is Illuminated.' With its pirouettes and cartwheels, its tireless annotations and digressions, it has a similar whiz-kid eagerness to wow the reader."

Robert Birnbaum writes: "The story in brief: Raised in academia its heroine, Blue van Meer, is clever, deadpan, and a cineaste and possessed of a vast lexicon of literary, political, philosophical, and scientific knowledge. In her final year of high school at the elite (and unusual) St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina, Blue falls in with a charismatic group of friends and their captivating teacher, Hannah Schneider. One of Hannah's friends drowns and then the shocking death of Hannah herself leads to a confluence of mysteries which Blue is left to make sense of with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to lean on. The novel is structured around a syllabus for a Great Works of Literature class and contains ironic visual aids drawn by Pessl."

Ashvegas writes: "Marisha... is... hawt. As in, she's a babe." I imagine Malaprop's cafe area will be at capacity crowd levels tomorrow night. So, come early and get your coffee fix.

Next week (Friday, August 18 7:00 PM), N.C. Poet Laureate, Kathryn Stripling Byer will be reading her new collection of poems, Coming to Rest. I doubt the crowd will be as large because it is only poetry.

Poet Fred Chappell writes: "There is about [Byer's] lines something of the art of the woodcut, a starkness made the more powerful by modesty of presentation, a certain wintriness of aspect that cloaks a smoldering sensibility. This is a mode, we might think, that she does not choose but is chosen by."

From Coming to Rest, "Chicago Bound":
. . . Just a little while
longer, we’ll be on the ground
where we’ll hop a train south to the campus,
a place I like better than this flimsy
carpet of clouds on which I cannot walk
to you. I need green fields
to do that, some tough city blocks,
Kimbark, Ellis, East Hyde Park.
Give me boulevard, avenue,

chemin, rue, strasse, calle,
avenida, el camino, whatever
you want to call it, Baby, if it’s down
there on earth where you are,
it’s Sweet Home. I’ll take it.

  1. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:30 PM, August 15, 2006 |  

    Don't forget that Kathryn Stripling Byer will also be at the literary festival in Burnsville in September. She's giving several free readings on Friday and will read (as will John Ehle) on Saturday.

    I'm so looking forward to meeting her. I have one of her poems posted right here next to my computer!

    Britt

  2. Blogger 1000 black lines | 4:23 PM, August 16, 2006 |  

    Thanks for the reminder, Britt. I need to sign up for her workshop if there's still room.

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