If Retroactively Naming the Site After Her Helps, Consider It Done

If you haven’t read Alex Mar’s profile of Baronessa Beatrice Monti della Corte von Rezzori in this week’s New York, by all means drop whatever you’re doing right now and have at it! What’s not to like about a woman who opens up her castle to talented young writers, providing them with time and space to be as clever as they can be—not to mention free meals and conversation in the bargain!

“They iron your underwear for you!” says Andrew Sean Greer, still astonished. “That’s hard to take. You have to kind of decide that it’s fantastic, and there were a lot of writers who found it to be too much.”

Not me, that’s for sure. I don’t know if writing a literary blog is good enough to get me an invite, though, so I guess I’d better pull that novel manuscript out of “the drawer” (which is really just a backup hard drive) and get cracking so I can be seen as someone of sufficient imagination!

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29 November 2006 | uncategorized |

Karen Rizzo’s Holiday Gift Suggestion

It’s that time of year again—I’ve recruited a bunch of authors to tell us about the books they think would make great gifts for whichever holidays you choose to celebrate this season. First up is Karen Rizzo; I met Karen at BookExpo last summer, when her publicist (who used to be my publicist) introduced us and gave me an advance copy of Things to Bring, S#!t to Do, a charming and funny memoir in the form of lists, or “inventories of anxiety” as she calls them. You can watch Karen read from her book on the YouTube to see what I mean.

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This millennium’s mother-of-all collections of original parenthood tales just happens to be written by a father, named (stay with me) Parent. In Believing it All: What My Children Taught Me About Trout Fishing, Jelly Toast and Life, Marc Parent takes us down a rural Pennsylvania path that yields an irrepressibly funny and mischievous, intuitive, and sometimes heart-rending meditation on life as a stay-at-home-dad to two young sons. Eschewing hipster irony and maudlin sentimentality, Parent (an author of three books and a deer-hunting liberal) chronicles his life with kids far from his former West Village haunts. A gift for any parent or person considering the prospect of parenthood. Actually, a gift for anyone who wants to laugh.

Okay, now for the kids (I’d give this next book to Parents’ boys): Charles Addams, my favorite cartoonist of all time, puts a most macabre and satisfying twist on Mother Goose in, appropriately enough, Charles Addams’ Mother Goose. For the 4-8 year old (or forty-eight year-old) in your life who’s twisting off her Barbie’s head or walking his action figures off a bathtub plank. I bought two copies; one for my kids and one for me.

27 November 2006 | gift ideas |

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