Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. On May 1, we’re saying goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Blogger
ande
Posts: 442
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
0 Kudos

#15: Alice Hoffman, Joshua Ferris and more at the Hemingway and Winship Awards

 

Book Explorers:

 

I go to lots of book and publishing gatherings, but one of my favorites is the annual Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award-L.L. Winship/PEN New England Awards.  It is held at a fabulous venue – the JFK Library, right on Boston Harbor – and the general scale of the event is just right. Lovely reception beforehand where much mingling with authors and other publishing types happens. Tasty snacks, too.

 

So there I was yesterday wondering how this year’s keynote speaker, Alice Hoffman, could ever top the jaw-dropping speech about race in America by author Edward P.Jones (The Known World). Well, my jaw-dropped again as Alice started by dedicating her address to two top-notch and influential women writers who died recently: Grace Paley and Tillie Olson. I cannot possibly do her speech justice but the main theme was the particular difficulty even today for women authors trying to find their voices and when they do avoiding being reduced to the “chick lit” category. Alice talked about being raised in New York by a Socialist single mother and a Russian grandmother, how she read the science fiction left behind by her father, how she went to school on the West Coast and wondered – surrounded by male writing professors and reading books by men or long-gone female authors like Jane Austen -–- how she could express her life experience and become a writer she wanted to be

 

Her encounters with the work of Tillie Olson and Grace Paley – “who wrote about all the women Mailer, Roth and others loved and then left behind” -- changed all that. These were powerful, affirming connections for her and they paved the way to her more than two dozen books. If you haven’t read anything by these amazing women, Alice included, please remedy that right now.

 

Alice also talked about the responsibility to give back, which she has done numerous times with her book advances. Two donations are especially touching: her contribution to the settlement house in New York that comforted her immigrant grandmother in her time of need; and to the Hoffman Breast Center that offers health care to all women no matter their circumstances.

 

A couple other standout moments: Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End, won the Hemingway/PEN Award (he also is a 2007 B&N Discover Award winner for fiction and there’s a moderated discussion going on right now on another book club board). He dedicated his acceptance speech to the cognitive process and talked at length about it. Of course it ended where you might have guessed: how this process allows us to experience books. He then read the part of his book where one of his characters speaks only with lines from the Godfather. Lots of laughs.

 

Ann Killough, won the Winship/PEN New England Award, for Beloved Idea, her book of poetry. She is an extraordinary speaker and reader. She talked about “pulling at the string of our national rhetoric” and then read from her book saying that the “beloved idea” is one she has: love of her country even though there have been horrible things happening in the last five or six years.” Make that seven.

 

The Kennedy Library folks say they will make the transcripts of these speeches available in a couple of weeks and I will post them.

 

Have you read the authors I mentioned? Do any of their speech topics resonate with you?

 

 

Ande

 

 

Frequent Contributor
mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
0 Kudos

Re: #15: Alice Hoffman, Joshua Ferris and more at the Hemingway and Winship Awards

I have read The Known World and some of Alice Hoffman's work in my earthly book club.  I haven't read the others, but will very soon.
Blogger
ande
Posts: 442
Registered: ‎04-07-2007
0 Kudos

Re: #15: Alice Hoffman, Joshua Ferris and more at the Hemingway and Winship Awards

Me, too. What did you think of the Jones and Hoffman books?
I've read Grace Paley, but I now must read Tillie Olson!
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,123
Topics: 516
Kudos: 1,085
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Solutions: 33
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: #15: Alice Hoffman, Joshua Ferris and more at the Hemingway and Winship Awards

I finished Then We Came to the End last week and it's a really great book.  Both happy and sad, you really start to care about the characters as the agency's future becomes more uncertain. 
 
Props to Joshua - he's an Iowa alum :smileyhappy:

ande wrote:
   

A couple other standout moments: Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End, won the Hemingway/PEN Award (he also is a 2007 B&N Discover Award winner for fiction and there’s a moderated discussion going on right now on another book club board). He dedicated his acceptance speech to the cognitive process and talked at length about it. Of course it ended where you might have guessed: how this process allows us to experience books. He then read the part of his book where one of his characters speaks only with lines from the Godfather. Lots of laughs.




Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com