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"The ideal situation would be for it to be challenged, but not enough that it would keep it out of the stores or Amazon.com. I mean, if it ended up on the banned books table at Borders... that would be this sort of marketing coup, this perfect logical conundrum. I mean, youíre standing in front of the banned books table, and theyíre for sale. But you want it to be so that people like us will feel like we can congratulate ourselves on how broadminded we are, but not banned enough that it would actually prevent the royalty checks from coming in."
Itís a surprise to find that all this success has emerged as an interesting catalyst for Vertigo, which finds itself going through yet another evolution. Berger and her team of editors have recently begun expanding the brandís literary reach with more stand-alone books far closer to novels than comics, developed by some of the best creators in the business.
"The whole spread of religion becomes easier to comprehend with William James in your pocket. James thought that a science of religions would sprout after his book. To some extent thatís true -- we have comparative religion departments at universities. But James also predicted that the person who was best at delineating all these faiths would have the hardest time finding faith."
Reared on a diet of Saturday Night Live parodies of Childís robust presence and unique voice, I found this volume to be an eye-opener as well as a palate-stimulator. I came to respect Childís immense passion and devotion to detail, and had fun following along as she turns a new life abroad into a labor of love.
Barbara J. King
"As far as catharsis is concerned, I certainly hoped writing the novel would have this effect, but Iím far from certain it did. It dragged me back into a painful period -- there were times when I was totally blocked, paralyzed, almost afraid to dredge up the past, to resurrect feelings of sadness and loss. There were days -- weeks -- when all I could do was sit in front of the TV and blankly watch game shows or such riveting sports as ladiesí darts."
"The summer before I went off to college, I bought an issue of Harper's magazine. I tried to read it, but too many of the words were unfamiliar to me. So I bought Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and read that instead. Words in isolation, not batched together to form thoughts, began to appeal to me. That is when I began develop a sense of the physicality, the materiality, the dimensionality, the inorganicity of words -- words as things, as matter."
"I would say that adolescence is a huge time and I do really keep those times close to me and I really remember it. When I see girls that age, I remember how that felt. Iím always interested in how you deal with those times. I think often the ways you felt in high school, especially the bad ways, always stick with you when you see yourself. When you look at yourself, you see the part of you from when you were going through adolescence and the feelings you felt then. The feelings seemed like the biggest feelings I ever had and simultaneously the worst feelings I ever had."
"And because Iím reviewing as well as writing, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to ask some creative writers a few questions about just how they found their stories and what led them to write about places like Hong Kong, Cuba, and northwestern Alaska in the first place. Consider this my official summer reading list."
"Growing up in Seattle, I didn't really think of literary culture as something that was centered in New York or that required any kind of official sanction whatsoever. I bought my books used for a quarter or fifty cents and then for a dollar I could get the most amazing peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a coffee shop called the Last Exit. Maybe a friend or my little brother would show up and we'd talk. I've always thought of books and literature that way, a few isolated people who cross paths and discuss work they care passionately about."