Author Archives: Fiction Advocate

HITTING SHELVES #31: Golden Delicious by Christopher Boucher

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious by Christopher Boucher comes out today!

It’s the story of the town of Appleseed, Massachusetts, where words come alive and bump against reality in strange and surprising ways. As the narrator grows up, interacting with stories that grow out of the soil and sentences that people keep as pets, he watches the town’s economy fail and his family fall apart. This is Boucher’s follow-up to How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, which we adored.

We asked the author one question.

How are you celebrating the publication of Golden Delicious? Continue reading

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What We’re Reading – April 2016

The Red Parts

The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson:The Red Parts is a memoir, an account of a trial, and a provocative essay that interrogates the American obsession with violence and missing white women, and that scrupulously explores the nature of grief, justice, and empathy.”

Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings

Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings by Stephen O’Connor: “A debut novel about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, in whose story the conflict between the American ideal of equality and the realities of slavery and racism played out in the most tragic of terms.”

The Bed Moved

The Bed Moved by Rebecca Schiff: “The audacious, savagely funny debut of a writer of razor-sharp wit and surprising tenderness: a collection of stories that gives us a fresh take on adolescence, death, sex; on being Jewish-ish; and on finding one’s way as a young woman in the world.”

Also this month: We’ll interview Meghan Daum and review the Argentine writer Robert Arlt.

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Q&A with Minsoo Kang, Translator of The Story of Hong Gildong

The Story of Hong Gildong

Five hundred years ago there was a bandit in Korea named Hong Gildong. His life inspired a story that has been told countless times since then–the story of a magical boy who joins a group of bandits and becomes their king. To celebrate the new English translation of The Story of Hong Gildong, we asked Minsoo Kang a few questions.

When did you first encounter the story of Hong Gildong?

The figure of Hong Gildong is so ubiquitous in modern Korean culture that anyone who grew up in the country would be familiar with the hero as a part of his or her childhood memory. So I cannot pinpoint when exactly I first encountered him, in the same way as it would be impossible for most Americans to remember when exactly they first discovered Superman or Batman. His story is indeed so well known that most Koreans can recite Hong Gildong’s lament at his condition of being an illegitimate child, how he cannot even “address his father as Father and older brother as Brother.” Even here in the United States, I am rather delighted whenever I mention my translation project to Korean-Americans and they respond by saying “Hong Gildong! My childhood hero!” Continue reading

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HITTING SHELVES #30: Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht

Relief Map

Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht comes out today!

It’s the story of a small town in rust belt Pennsylvania that gets shut down for an FBI manhunt. During the ensuing siege, our protagonist, sixteen-year-old Livy, discovers more about her family and her neighbors than she wanted to know. Relief Map feels like a forgotten coming-of-age classic, like a parable and headline news at once.

We asked the author one question.

How are you celebrating the publication of Relief Map? Continue reading

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HITTING SHELVES #29: Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett

Blackass

Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett comes out today!

It’s the story of a black Nigerian man who wakes up one morning to discover that he has turned into a white man… except for his ass. So he makes his way to a scheduled job interview in Lagos as a different person. Blackass is a blistering satire of contemporary Nigeria with echoes of Kafka, Kipling, and the Eddie Murphy SNL sketch “White Like Me.”

We asked the author one question.

How are you celebrating the publication of Blackass? Continue reading

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What We’re Reading – March 2016

Margaret the First

Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton:Margaret the First dramatizes the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when “being a writer” was not an option open to women. Written with lucid precision and sharp cuts through narrative time, it is a gorgeous and wholly new approach to imagining the life of a historical woman.”

The Lights of Pointe-Noire

The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou: “Alain Mabanckou left Congo in 1989, at the age of twenty-two, not to return until a quarter of a century later. As he delves into his childhood, into the life of his departed mother, and into the strange mix of belonging and absence that informs his return to Congo, his work recalls the writing of V.S. Naipaul and André Aciman, offering a startlingly fresh perspective on the pain of exile, the ghosts of memory, and the paths we take back home.”

At the Existentialist Cafe

At the Existentialist Café by Sarah Bakewell:At the Existentialist Café follows the existentialists’ story, from the first rebellious spark through the Second World War, to its role in postwar liberation movements such as anticolonialism, feminism, and gay rights. Interweaving biography and philosophy, it […] a vital investigation into what the existentialists have to offer us today, at a moment when we are once again confronting the major questions of freedom, global responsibility, and human authenticity in a fractious and technology-driven world.”

Also this month: We reviewed Prodigals by Greg Jackson and we’ll hear from A. Igoni Barrett about Blackass.

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