the art of the novella

“And to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternations […] often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door.”

It’s pretty surreal how the novella ends with Laura daydreaming of hearing Carmilla at her door, and the webseries begins with Carmilla at her door, almost as if by travelling through the door she had crossed into an alternate universe. 

Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824)
“The Burial of Atala” (1808)
Romanticism

“Atala, ou Les Amours de deux sauvages dans le desert” is an early novella by François-René de Chateaubriand, first published on 2 April 1801. The work, inspired by his travels in North America, had an immense impact on early Romanticism, and went through five editions in its first year.

See you at #AWP17!

The National Book Foundation is headed to Washington, D.C. for #AWP17 . Here are some of the National Book Award Winners, Finalists, Longlist and 5 Under 35 honorees who you can catch during the conference. We’ll see you there! 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award Winner and Finalist


Mystery in the Writing Process: Discovery, Revelation, and Witholding for Writers and Their Readers

9:00AM-10:15AM

Featuring National Book Award Winner William Alexander and National Book Award Longlist author Kekla Magoon

A Lecture by Jacqueline Woodson, sponsored by The Poetry Foundation

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring National Book Award Winner & four time National Book Award Finalist Jacqueline Woodson

VIDA Voices & Views: Exclusive Interview with Joan Naviyuk Kane, Ada Limón, & Alicia Ostriker

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Ada Limón

The Art of the Novella: Publishers and Writers On Crafting the Beautifully In-Between

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring 5 under 35 Honoree Josh Weill

Asian-American Generations at Coffee House Press

1:30pm - 2:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Karen Yamashita

Some of My Best Friends Are Octavia Butler and Ursula K. LeGuin: Genre Bias in the Creative Writing

1:30pm - 2:45pm 

Featuring 5 under 35 Honoree Asali Solomon

But Do You Have a Novel? How and Why Short Story Writers Transition into Novelists

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm 

Featuring 5 Under 35 Honoree Kirstin Valdez Quade 

Copyright Basics for the Digital Age

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Featuring two-time National Book Award Finalist James Gleick

Going for Gold: Five Novelists Rewrite the Sports Narrative

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Featuring 5 Under 35 Honoree Tracy O'Neill

An Invitation to Poetic Discovery, Sponsored by Poets House

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist & Longlist author Monica Youn

Friday, February 10, 2017

Viet Thanh Nguyen, National Book Award Finalist


Celebrating The Golden Shovel Anthology in honor of Gwendolyn Brooks

9:00AM-10:15AM

Featuring three time National Book Award Finalist Marilyn Nelson 

Strange Bedfellows: The Unholy Mingling of Politics and Art

9:00AM-10:15AM

Featuring National Book Award Longlist author Anthony Marra

Workshopping War: The Challenges of War Writing in the Classroom

10:30am - 11:45am 

 Featuring National Book Award Finalist Jayne Anne Phillips

Crafty: Four City University of New York MFA Graduates Read from Their Work

10:30am - 11:45am 

 Featuring National Book Award Winner and 5 Under 35 Honoree Phil Klay

Beyond Sex: The Poetics of Desire

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Tim Seibles

Coming of Age: The Blurry Lines between Adult & YA literature

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM 

 Featuring National Book Award Finalist Jason Reynolds

Raising Hell: Writing from the Extremes

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM 

 Featuring 5 Under 35 Honoree Tea Obreht

American Smooth: A Tribute to Rita Dove

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring National Book Award Winner Robin Coste Lewis and National Book Award Finalist Rita Dove 

The Interconnectedness of Poetry & Memoir

1:30pm - 2:45pm 

 Featuring National Book Award Finalist Tracy K. Smith

A Reading and Conversation with Alexander Chee and Valeria Luiselli, Sponsored by Coffee House Press and Kundiman

1:30pm - 2:45pm 

Featuring 5 Under 35 Honoree Valeria Luiselli and National Book Foundation Executive Director, Lisa Lucas

Going There: Writing the Complicated Truth in the World’s Hot Spots

1:30pm - 2:45pm 

Featuring 5 Under 35 Honoree Brit Bennett 

A Tribute to Marie Ponsot

1:30pm - 2:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist and Longlist author Kevin Young

Daddy’s Little Girl, and Other Misfortunes in YA

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm 

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Laura Ruby

To Sing the Idea of All: Walt Whitman in DC

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm 

Featuring Literarian Award Winner and Cave Canem co-founder Cornelius Eady

A Conversation between Chimamanda Ngozi and Ta-Nehisi Coates

4:30pm - 5:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Winner Ta-Nehisi Coates

Distant Lands, Intimate Voices

4:30pm - 5:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Viet Thanh Nguyen

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rita Dove, National Book Award Finalist


Poetry As Invocation

10:30am - 11:45am

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Ada Limón

Get in Formation: Form in YA Literature

10:30am - 11:45am

Featuring three time National Book Award Finalist Marilyn Nelson

Being the Change You Want to See: The New Literary Leadership

10:30am - 11:45am

Featuring National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas

Immigrants / Children of Immigrants

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring National Book Award Finalist and Longlist author Monica Youn

21st Century Troubadours

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Rita Dove

Women Writers Get Gritty

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Jayne Anne Phillips

No Easy Readers: The Challenges of Writing for Children

1:30pm - 2:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Winner William Alexander and National Book Award Longlist author Anne Ursu

The Ghosts of History

1:30pm - 2:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist and 5 Under 35 Honoree Angela Flournoy

A Reading and Conversation with Aracelis Girmay, Tim Seibles, and Danez Smith.

1:30pm - 2:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Tim Seibles

Socially Conscious Fiction

3:00pm - 4:15pm

Featuring National Book Award Longlist author Garth Greenwell

Going for Broke: Working Class Writers on Choosing a Career In The Arts

3:00pm - 4:15pm

Featuring 5 Under 35 Honoree Tiphanie Yanique 

Writing Across Cultures

3:00pm - 4:15pm

Featuring 5 under 35 Honoree Valeria Luiselli 

Conversation with Ross Gay & Tina Chang

3:00pm - 4:15pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Ross Gay

Poetry in the Age of the Drone

4:30pm - 5:45pm

Featuring National Book Award Finalist Solmaz Sharif

Reading with Rita Dove, Terrance Hayes & Ocean Vuong

8:30pm - 10:00pm

Featuring National Book Award Winner Rita Dove, and National Book Award Winner & Finalist Terrance Hayes

Reading with Colum McCann & Margot Livesly

8:30pm - 10:00pm 

 Featuring National Book Award Winner Colum McCann

2

being charlie spring’s boyfriend can get a bit overwhelming at times

A book is ‘good’ only when it meets some human hunger or refutes some human error. A book that is good for me would very likely be punk for you.
— 

Christopher Morley, asking you to let him read about goddamn space battles if he wants to. 

From The Haunted Bookshop

Also the first bookseller to use the word “punk” to me in this sense in person wins a prize.

The Alienist

by Machado de Assis

5 out of 5 stars

Sanity is a subject I’ve grown increasingly interested in as I’ve gotten older. I used to see it as a black and white matter. Some people are sane, others insane. Easy as that. 

This was a cozy idea of mine as a child at least. I kept far away from the black sheep of my family - an ancient great aunt with a lifetime’s wake of miserable holiday antics due to her undiagnosed narcissism - and I got used to what I perceived was textbook sanity. Although I do remember once in middle school miserably wishing I could be as smart as Nietzsche, as I felt too sane to ever be genius. But eventually, after those comfortable years not considering it much more, I left home. I met people comfortable with routines I could never imagine for myself, and with backgrounds equally contrasting. Not only did I question my own quirks, I feared my roots. I had grown accustomed to my Father wearing literally the same outfit every single day (à la Steve Jobs) because “it’s comfortable,” and to a Mother who collected rocks and scrap metals (to build a scarecrow for the backyard of course). But also around that time, humans generally became a lot more interesting to me.

  

This perhaps isn’t an accurate personal introduction to The Alienist, as it crosses into other ideas and plots - but I kept going back to this subject. Maybe I’m ready for something that addresses the topic without satire (I’m always welcome to suggestions!) for The Alienist is equally hilarious as it is perceptive and ahead of it’s time. I'm definitely ready for more Machado de Assis. 


Highly recommended.