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  • Lauren Passell 8:23 pm on 2015/05/14 Permalink
    Tags: a sleepwalker's guide to dancing, , , cecily wong, charlotte rogan, darin strauss, diamond head, , , half a life, i am an executioner, , , rajesh parameswaran, redeployment, , the lifeboat   

    Meet Some of Your Favorite Discover Authors! 

    On Tuesday, May 12, Barnes & Noble celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Discover New Writers Program, which puts fantastic new writers in the spotlight, making sure they get the attention they deserve. Writers gathered at The Standard Hotel to raise a glass to Discover, and to celebrate exceptional writing. Here are a few of the writers we met:


    Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life, with Redeployment author Phil Klay

    Q: What was your reaction when you fond out you won?
    A: Disbelief, profound gratitude. I feel like my heart is swollen.
    Q: What do you wish you knew while you were writing your first book?
    A: Nothing. I wouldn’t have wanted to change my journey.
    Q: What advice do you have for writers struggling to write their first book?
    A: Write the story you absolutely have to tell. That will sustain you through everything.

    The Lifeboat author Charlotte Rogan, standing with Rajesh Parameswaran, author of I Am an Executioner


    “I cried when I found out I was a Discover winner.” —Cecily Wong, right, author of Diamond Head


    Marie-Helene Bertino, author of 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, and Mira Jacob, author of A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing


    Q: What did you do when you found out you won?
    A: I cried. When I finished it I thought, “I like this. Maybe my mom will.” But to have other people like it is big.

    Q: Did you always think you’d write a book?
    A: Growing up, I’d go to Barnes & Noble and see my books on the shelf and think, “How do I get there?” I wound up doing it!

    Q: What do you wish you knew when you were writing your first book?
    A: I wish someone would have told me how long it would take.

    Q: What advice would you give to writers struggling to finish their first book?
    A: It’s totally worth it not to give up. Just for the sense of accomplishment. Nobody can take that away from you.

    —Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation, with Discover reader Nathan Dunbar

  • Ryan Britt 5:00 pm on 2014/12/16 Permalink
    Tags: adam wilson shelly oria, ann vandermeer, , justin taylor, , neil clarke, , , , redeployment, , ,   

    Short Stories to Stuff Your Stockings: 9 of 2014’s Most Giftable Collections and Anthologies 

    The Time Traveler's AlmanacGift-giving can come with a lot of commitment issues. If you buy a novel for a certain someone and they “just can’t get into it,” it’s like you failed as a person who buys books as presents. However, short stories don’t have quite that same threat, because even if the person doesn’t love ALL the stories in a collection or anthology, they’re bound to like a few. Here’s a list of 9 short story collections or anthologies published in 2014 to help you hedge your holiday book-buying bets.

    Flings, by Justin Taylor
    You ready for short stories about guys in mushroom costumes, struggling poets, and Ph.D students? Of course you are. With his usual brand of smarty-pants wit, Justin Taylor has done something you wouldn’t think possible: topped his debut short story collection, Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever. A perfect gift for someone who thinks they don’t like reading short stories, or reading period. Meanwhile, if your giftee already loves good contemporary lit, Taylor is one of the masters.

    New York 1 Tel Aviv 0, by Shelly Oria
    If you’re not sure what the immigrant experience is like or the bisexual experience is like or the human experience is like, these stories have you covered. Shelly Oria’s prose is as addictive as her occasionally jokey epiphanies. The stories in this collection often come across as being orderly little lessons about what its like to be a person, and that’s exactly what they are. This is the perfect gift for someone who experiments with the truth of their life and finds something beautiful or sad every time they do. Essentially, give this book to your best friend for the holidays if you want to keep them. Give this book to a friend you’ve lost if you want them back.

    Unexpected Stories, by Octavia Butler
    If you’ve only read Octavia Butler’s excellent time-travel novel Kindred, that’s okay, but if you’re looking for a gift for someone who loves genre-straddling stories by a master of both science fiction and literature, then this is the one. Collecting Butler’s short fiction into one volume is a smart enough idea, but this one is made even more special because it includes unpublished material, specifically her story “Childfinder,” which sci-fi raconteur Harlan Ellison asked her to write for his unpublished The Last Dangerous Visions.

    What’s Important is Feeling, by Adam Wilson
    Featuring a weird rock band, a lobster, and impressively deft explorations of male friendship, Adam Wilson’s What’s Important is Feeling is a great gift for your grouchy brother who’s always complaining about everything. Either that, or your friend who always wears a bandanna and tells everyone she’s creating new kinds of art with colors that haven’t yet been invented. Not a book for your mom. Unless your mom was once like those people or any of the characters in this book. In which case: perfect.

    Stone Mattress, by Margaret Atwood
    Is it even fair how talented Margaret Atwood is? How does she possibly put out as many books as she has? If you’re looking to buy a book of stories for someone who’s an Atwood completist, then you’re in good shape. Or maybe you’re looking to get someone into her work without overwhelming them with the complexity of the Maddaddam trilogy. If so, these stories represent Atwood’s bananas creativity coupled with her excellent sense of humanity. Really, though, if you have any friends who are mistaken for vampires for whatever reason, this is the gift for them.

    The Time Traveler’s Almanac, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
    There’s no one who doesn’t like stories about time travel. Except maybe actual time travelers. If you’ve got a Doctor Who–obsessed person in your life and you need to give them a gift that will totally educate them on the best short-fiction explorations of time travel, this new anthology from fantastic sci-fi editor Ann VanderMeer is the ticket. The thing is, because it’s all about time travel, you need to make sure your prospective present-getter hasn’t already read it…in the future.

    American Innovations, by Rivka Galchen
    Deceptively casual is the only way to describe the tone of the stories in American Innovation. If you’re buying a gift for someone who everyone thinks is an evil genius, you may want to consider this book. Everybody says certain kinds of stories are heartbreaking, but these ones really are, but subtly. So maybe they’re not heartbreaking, but instead, heart-fracturing? Galtchen’s subtlety is definitely for the literati, but a particularly introspective non-literary person would love these tales, too.

    Redeployment, by Phil Klay
    You heard this won the National Book Award, right? Do you buy this for the veteran in your life? Yes. Do you buy it for the literary snob in your life? Yes. Do you buy it for your landlord, your postman, or your former high school teacher? Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Clarkesworld Year 6, edited by Neil Clarke 
    There’s a lot of great science fiction being published online these days, but Neil Clarke over at Clarkesworld always manages to put out a physical version of all the best stuff he’s championed in a given year. If you’ve got a budding sci-fi/fantasy writer who needs some inspiration this holiday season, any of the Clarkesworld anthologies are a surefire win.

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