READING: Rachel DeWoskin, Katie Kitamura, & Nancy Mauro

beatrice-reading-30sep09.jpg

This Wednesday, September 30, Beatrice returns to the Center for Fiction (formerly known as the Mercantile Library) for the start of a new season in our reading series. I’m excited to be hosting an event with three great debut novelists: Rachel DeWoskin (Repeat After Me), Katie Kitamura (The Longshot), and Nancy Mauro (New World Monkeys).

The reading starts at 7 p.m., so come join us at the Center (still at 17 E. 47th Street) and stick around for wine and cheese and conversation with the authors after the readings.

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28 September 2009 | events |

One River of Prose, with Many Tributaries

“[G]eneric labeling is of little utility, and can be seriously misleading. For the fact of the matter is that America’s many vernacular musics are dialects—not separate, mutually exclusive languages. In practice, spirituals and gospel music are often musically identical to blues and rhythm and blues, for example; only the lyrics change, from sacred to secular. In today’s jazz, an increasing number of special collaborations that span historical styles and generations are making a mockery of the vastly oversimplified notion that this music developed in a straight line, as a series of revolutions by young Turks against the musical status quo.”

Robert Palmer, “The Names May Change, But the Beat Goes On” (NY Times, 19 June 1986); it’ll be reprinted later this year in the Palmer retrospective Blues & Chaos.

I’d suggest, freely admitting that it is no great original insight, that something much the same has been going on in American literature as well, rendering the distinctions made between “literary” and “popular” fiction—between, to take one notorious point of contention, “chick lit” and “not chick lit”—equally misleading. I don’t really have much more than that to go on right now, but I wanted to set the thought down while it was fresh, perhaps as something to return to later…

9 September 2009 | uncategorized |

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