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Delia Jarrett-Macauley was commissioned by the BBC to return to her childhood home of Freetown, Sierra Leone -- a place she had written about in her book Moses, Citizen and Me -- for the first time in 30 years for the radio documentary "Imaginary Homeland." She writes about the experience of returning to a home that hosted a civil war since her last trip.
"Any chance I get, I fucking talk about Rutgers. From the neighborhood I came from, I was literally intellectually starving. I was an incredibly bright kid outside of Perth Amboy, and going to Rutgers was sort of like someone who never had vitamin C their whole life. They're dying from fucking intellectual scurvy and rickets, and somebody gives them a fucking orange."
David Weisner has won many medals. I hear they are shiny medals. As a matter of fact, Mr. Weisner is the illustrator of my favorite book ever about giant vegetables from space as well as my favorite book about flying amphibians that invade people’s homes. But just because someone has won a medal for illustrating children’s books does not mean that they are universally qualified for illustrating all children’s books.
"I think that writing is the way we respond to the world we experience. For someone who reads, other people’s fictional characters are part of that world, and therefore a valid stimulus for our own writing. When I first approached Crime and Punishment, I was slightly wrong-footed by a misleading blurb, which described the book as one of the first detective novels. It isn’t really that, but something of that expectation stuck in my mind and got me thinking, What if it had been?"
"I read a huge amount, initially just because something fascinates me, and as I’m reading, I’m trying to read receptively; that is, I’m trying to be alert to small but significant stirrings of affect, or some kind of quiet charge inside me: whatever it is in the material that might make it more than usually compelling, and affecting, to me. I don’t need, initially, to be able to articulate to myself fully what that is; I just need to have registered it on some level."
In Rabid, Kenyon pulls together all the beauty and terror found in religion and all the beauty and terror found in science to create a fictional space where every person seeks light, whether at the lab bench, or at the church altar, or both. We all of us are seekers and sinners; we, the devout and the damned, are all the same.
Barbara J. King
"The book clubs seem to be as much a way for people to talk about themselves as about books. Although that said, I wish as many book clubs as possible would read my novel, as a way of talking about themselves, or politics, or whatever they want."
Hiromi, as she is called in the book, survived to write the collective tale in her twenties, and says she is glad she did, because she couldn’t have written it later: “The book got a few nice reviews that said I ‘captured’ the angst of being a young person. But I didn’t capture it, I still had it.”
"I totally admit that John McPhee’s work needs about as much attention -- in the form of an essay written exclusively in praise -- as you’d expect any Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker staffer’s work: Little, if any. That said, he certainly deserves more readers and more attention and more accolades, seeing how there’s a strong likelihood that John McPhee might be the best living writer in the United States."