Friday, September 06, 2013

Short Takes

Three Flannery O'Connor Award winners (Geoffrey Becker's BLACK ELVIS, Harvey Grossinger's THE QUARRY, and E. J. Levy's LOVE, IN THEORY) had an event at the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore on Tuesday night. In advance of the event, the Baltimore Sun interviewed the three authors about short story writing.
You all have either written novels or are in the process of writing them. Can you talk about the difference between long-form and short-form writing?
Levy: The short story has a density and richness and beauty and intimacy that it's hard to find in any form of writing other than poetry. Writing a short story is a little bit like making love. There's an intense pleasure that may be brief and that leads to an illuminating conclusion.
I'm pregnant now with my first child, and it seems to me that writing a novel is more gestational than writing a short story. Reading a novel takes more time and writing one takes more time. It slowly reshapes your world.
Becker: I love E.J.'s metaphor. It's sort of the difference between making love and being in a long-term relationship. Writing a novel takes forever, and you're not the same person at the end. You've changed. You've moved. Real life tends to filter in when you're writing a novel in an ongoing way that it probably doesn't when you're writing a short story.
Grossinger: I don't consider myself a natural short-story writer. When I entered a graduate writing program in the '80s, my short stories were just novels in disguise. I had to keep chopping them down. I'm just more drawn to the long form. Short stories have a much narrower vision. They're a moment in time. You can't exfoliate the entire life of a character, with their beginnings and ends, in a short story in the same way you can in a novel.
Booklist reviews the two newest Flannery O'Connor Award winners: THEIVES I'VE KNOWN and THE VIEWING ROOM. According to Booklist, THIEVES I'VE KNOWN is "a memorable THE VIEWING ROOM is described as "hard-hitting."
collection," while

Flannery O'Connor Award winner, Alfred DePew (THE MELANCHOLY OF DEPARTURE) has a piece on e-books in the Vancouver Observer.

WUKY 91.3 features selections from TURN ME LOOSE, along with historical context commentary and music, to mark the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers' passing.

Last Thursday, two UGA Press books, REMAKING WORMSLOE PLANTATION and ATLANTA'S OAKLAND CEMETERY, received awards from the Georgia Historical Society during a ceremony held on the University of Georgia campus. The Malcolm Bell, Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell Award for best book on Georgia history went to Drew Swanson's REMAKING WORMSLOE PLANTATION and the Lilla M. Hawes Award for best local or county or history book pertaining to Georgia went to ATLANTA'S OAKLAND CEMETERY by Ren and Helen Davis. For more on the event, including quotes from the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) President & CEO Todd Groce and GHS trustee Vince Dooley, read the article in the student newspaper, the Red & Black.
Right to left: Todd Groce, Ren and Helen Davis, Vince Dooley, Lisa Bayer. Not pictured: Drew Swanson.
The Decatur Book Festival was held in Decatur, GA over the Labor Day weekend. Here are some photos from the event: