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Tag archives: American authors

Between worlds: Dominic Smith on <i>Bright and Distant Shores</i>

Between worlds: Dominic Smith on Bright and Distant Shores

Angela Meyer September 27, 2011

Allen & Unwin, 9781742374161, 2011 (Aus paperback, ebook + US/Kindle) Bright and Distant Shores is hugely imaginative historical fiction. It’s set just before the dawn of the 20th century in Chicago and the South Pacific. Owen Graves is sent by Hale Gray, the president of Chicago First Equitable, to collect some ‘special items’ to display […]

The epic qualities of outwardly ordinary lives: <i>By Nightfall</i> and Michael Cunningham in Australia

The epic qualities of outwardly ordinary lives: By Nightfall and Michael Cunningham in Australia

Angela Meyer May 25, 2011 7 Comments

By Nightfall, Michael Cunningham, HarperCollins (Aus pb, Aus ebook, US and Kindle, UK) Over the past few days I’ve been in the audience of four sessions featuring my favourite American author Michael Cunningham. Cunningham’s latest novel is By Nightfall. I’ve drafted a few posts on it since I read it, but was never able to adequately […]

Guest review: Alice Grundy on <i>Mr Peanut</i> by Adam Ross

Guest review: Alice Grundy on Mr Peanut by Adam Ross

Angela Meyer April 26, 2011

Vintage, 9780099535379 (Aus, UK, US) Reviewed by Alice Grundy The cover of Adam Ross’ first novel, Mr Peanut, is swathed in praise from no lesser lights than Stephen King and Michiko Kakutani. The title page features a reproduction of Escher’s ‘Mobius’ flagging the role of the double in the plot. All the signs point towards […]

Guest review: Matthia Dempsey on <i>What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us</i> by Laura van den Berg

Guest review: Matthia Dempsey on What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us by Laura van den Berg

Angela Meyer February 22, 2011 1 Comment

Scribe Publications, February 2011 (Aus, US, UK) 9781921640896 Reviewed by Matthia Dempsey Laura van den Berg has particular skill in capturing the strangeness that can come at times—the sense of being a stranger to your own life and the world. For many of the women in her stories this feeling is the result of a […]

20 classics in 2011 #2: <i>The Portrait of a Lady</i> by Henry James

20 classics in 2011 #2: The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Angela Meyer February 8, 2011 8 Comments

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. ‘A great many people give me the impression of never having for a moment felt anything’ – Isabel Archer, The Portrait of a Lady. Why did I want to read it? Well, first of all, Henry James is one of the ‘great’ novelists […]

Cult carny lit: Katherine Dunn’s <i>Geek Love</i>

Cult carny lit: Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love

Angela Meyer December 27, 2010 3 Comments

Vintage, 1989 9780375713347 (2002 edn) (Also Aus, US, UK) Miss Olympia is an emotional, hunchbacked albino dwarf, and the complex narrator of this wonderful novel. In the present, Oly secretly watches over the remaining members of her carnival-of-freaks family: her daughter, Miranda, and her mother, Crystal Lil. Why her observance and care is secretive is revealed through […]

‘If only a nippleless bra could make it all work’: Gary Shteyngart’s <i>Super Sad True Love Story</i>

‘If only a nippleless bra could make it all work’: Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story

Angela Meyer October 29, 2010 1 Comment

Granta, September 2010, through Allen & Unwin in Australia (Aus, US, UK) 9781847081032 Super. Here’s a too-easily-imaginable near-future world where everyone is attached to a device, books are obsolete, people walk around half-naked and rate each other’s bits, the American empire is failing, and it’s hard to make a true and lasting connection. Sad. The […]

Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 2)

Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 2)

Angela Meyer August 20, 2010 2 Comments

It’s very telling, you know? Find part 1, right here, folks. Kathy: My two very favourite novels of all time are Lunar Park, and Pet Sematary by Stephen King, which kind of makes perfect sense… Bret: Yes, it does. Kathy: I’m really interested in the idea that Lunar Park may be becoming a film. I’m […]

Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 1)

Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 1)

Angela Meyer August 18, 2010 4 Comments

Pictured: Carrie, Samantha, Carrie Let’s begin at the end. After Kathy Charles and I finished our interview with the very engaging Bret Easton Ellis, we sat with his publicist over a couple of glasses of Chandon, waiting for Ellis to wrap-up with our friend Robbie Coleman. Robbie emerged, white-faced and swearing, revealing that the interviewee had turned interviewer […]

Both ways is the only way she wants it: an interview with Maile Meloy

Both ways is the only way she wants it: an interview with Maile Meloy

Angela Meyer June 16, 2010 2 Comments

As the title indicates, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want it (Text, May 2010 in Aus, Riverhead US), Maile Meloy’s engaging collection of stories, is about the fear, desire, pleasure, confusion and complications of wanting it both ways and sometimes having it so. It’s like Guido’s dilemma in Fellini’s 8 1/2 – he wants […]