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"Most of Lint is just the sort of thing I would have liked an author to do during those years -- I wish Jeff Lint did exist, and that those books were out there waiting to be read. Strangely, after the book was done, I found out about the writer Harry Stephen Keeler, who really existed as far as I know, and he has quite a similarity to Lint. Keeler was, unfortunately, a crappy writer."
I thought I was a stalwart fan of the made-for-TV novel, but the Masterpiece Theatre-ization of the Soviet canon makes me ornery.
It doesn’t escape Gilbert’s notice that she chose to restore her self in countries that started with the letter I (the letter of the self) or that she opted for a pretty stunning set of I-destinations. As she puts it, Eat Pray Love is not set in Iran, Ivory Coast, and Iceland or (closer to her New York home) Islip, I-95 and Ikea. Gilbert’s playfulness, her refusal to take her own misery or her own accomplishments too seriously, makes this book fun to read. But make no mistake, her quest is a serious one; it is a search for grace.
Barbara J. King
Small, indie poetry presses like the Midwest’s Pavement Saw don’t have access to the types of financial resources available to big publishing houses. There are no teams of well-paid thinkers who gather to conceptualize the covers for chapbooks and collections, no exorbitant budgetary allocations dedicated to their design. What they do have, however, is ready access to the kind of raw creativity that forced their existence in the first place, and this rare commodity is in some ways their greatest source of wealth.
Lavender was drawn to a story involving Chinese immigrants because, as he puts it, “I have an instinctive sympathy for the downtrodden of the earth and at that time and place in the American past the downtrodden were definitely the Chinese.” He did not know before he began his research that Chinatown was completely destroyed by the fire that consumed the city in the days after the quake or what had become of the people who lived there and survived. Lavender was appalled and determined to tell their story.
"I make few distinction between straight biographies and novels. They both are works of fiction. Fiction means ‘shaping’ in Latin. I shape reality in both genres. There are demands that come from the genre itself: You can't really change points of view in a biography, and you can't make things up; but I think these are small considerations, and that in general they both involve creating narratives, and narrative is what I like: telling a story."
When the Mongol emperor Tamerlane conquered Baghdad in 1401 he commanded that each of his soldiers bring back two heads from the populace and stack them in a pyramid. At the end of the day there were 120 such towers circling the city, each of them swarming with vultures. The Tigris ran red and every house was in ashes. That’s some shock and awe.