Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Book Saturday and the Sad Literary South


So we got back from Borders. I know, support your local bookstore. My local bookstore closes at 9:00, sadly. I didn't buy anything because I'm busy reading Bowling Alone (for the teaching), Lucky Man, and American Tabloid. But Heather bought Derek Walcott's The Prodigal: A Poem (that's right--one poem 105 pages long) and Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth (a werewolf mystery novel...written in blank verse). Poets are funny.

I did spend some quality time reading Oxford American. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything by two of my favorite writers, regular contributors Wendy Brenner (my professor from grad school) and Jack Pendarvis. But I read some of David Payne's essay on how the publishing industry hates Southerners Maud Newton's blog tipped me off to. Reminded me of Pinckney Benedict's succinct summing up of this point. Must we fight the Civil War in letters? Though I know a writer who attended a New York writers' residency and got the cold shoulder after they found out he lived in Atlanta (for my money as hellish an urbane place as you can get). But on the other hand, we are cornpone idjets down 'ere.

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