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by Jason Gargano 06.30.2010
Posted In: Literary at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Native Makes New Yorker List

The New Yorker magazine recently published its Summer Fiction issue. It includes a list of what its editors deem as the 20 novelists under the age of 40 worth watching, an endeavor destined to be as contentious as it no doubt was excruciating to craft. (There's a reason the magazine hasn't published such a list in more than a decade.)

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by Jason Gargano 07.13.2011
Posted In: Literary at 05:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Donald Ray Pollock: Badass Writer, Nice Guy

Donald Ray Pollock's debut short-story collection, 2008's Knockemstiff, was something of an unexpected sensation —unexpected in that Pollock was a first-time author at age 53; a sensation in that the stories were driven by a visceral, sharp-edged prose style and a narrative thrust as sensitive as it was savage.

Knockemstiffwas rightly praised by everyone from The New York Times to Chuck Palahniuk (“more engaging than any new fiction in years”) to literary savant Michael Silverblatt, whose incisive KCRW radio show Bookwormfeatured an interview with the author.

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by Jason Gargano 05.24.2011
Posted In: Literary at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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UC to Hire Novelist Chris Bachelder

The Cincinnati literary scene suffered a loss last summer when Brock Clarke moved to Portland, Maine, to take a job teaching creative writing at Bowdoin College. Through his work as a writer (via two short-story collections and three novels, including 2007's well-received An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England) and educator (he taught creative writing at UC where he brought in such guest speakers/authors as Chris Bachelder, Sam Lipsyte, Heidi Julavits and Jonathan Lethem), Clarke was a one-man literary juggernaut who produced, nurtured and promoted the written word with unwavering commitment, creativity and good taste.

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by Jason Gargano 02.03.2011
Posted In: Literary at 06:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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Cincinnati Library Rules!

I like books, magazines and movies. I, as you might have guessed by now, like newspapers, too. It should then come as no surprise that the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is one of my favorite places on planet Earth and that it continues to offer a smorgasbord of information, almost all of it available for the bargain basement price of $0 across its 40 branches.

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by Jason Gargano 06.01.2011
Posted In: Literary, Literary at 02:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Michael Griffith Drops 'Trophy' Tonight

Listen up, fans of crafty, post-modern fiction: Local author/professor/all-around good guy Michael Griffith christens his freshly minted new book, Trophy, 7 p.m. tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers.

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by 01.16.2009
Posted In: Literary at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Nikki Giovanni Publishes a New Book of Poems

Earlier this week, Bicycles: Love Poems by Cincinnati-native and Virginia Tech professor Nikki Giovanni went on sale. The poems in this collection are meant to serve as a companion to her 1997 work, Love Poems. This is her 27th work. In the book, she addresses, among many things, the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Hear an interview with Giovanni and read an excerpt on NPR here.

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by Jason Gargano 05.02.2011
Posted In: Literary at 05:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Nicholson Baker Speaks!

Just a reminder for the discerning literary types out there: Ace wordsmith and impressively bearded Nicholson Baker stops by the Mercantile Library tomorrow (May 3) at 7 p.m. to read from and discuss his work.

The 54-year-old New York City native has tackled a number of topics and genres — from nonfiction to fiction, from books about phone sex and bottle feeding babies to historical investigations about about the insidious nature of war — in a writing career marked by his playful use of language, biting humor and interest in the “moments between the big moments.”

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by Jason Gargano 12.05.2008
Posted In: Literary at 06:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Mercantile Library Announces 2009 Season

The Mercantile Library announced its 2009 lineup of guest speakers today. It’s an impressive list.

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by Jason Gargano 02.04.2009
Posted In: Movies, Literary at 03:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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The Culmination of Corso Fest

The local multimedia festival celebrating of the life and legacy of Beat poet Gregory Corso, dubbed "I Gave Away the Sky," culminates this week with two events.

From 7-9 p.m. Thursday is “The Nightest Night: A Reading Honoring the Poetry and Posey of Gregory Corso” at the Reed Gallery in UC’s DAAP building. Among those taking part is local poet Matt Hart, who was gracious enough to let CityBeat publish his tribute to Corso on our Web site.

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by Jason Gargano 04.18.2011
Posted In: Literary at 08:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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David Foster Wallace Takes on IRS

It’s no coincidence that the late David Foster Wallace’s new novel, The Pale King, was published on April 15. Actually, “new novel” might not be the best wording — the 560-page book, which carries the telling subtitle An Unfinished Novel, was crafted from Wallace’s papers after he committed suicide in 2008.

I’ve yet to read The Pale King, but after perusing several reviews in recent days (including Tom McCarthy’s incisive piece in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review), I have a pretty good handle on its setting: the seemingly banal inner workings of the Internal Revenue Service.

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