Christopher Barzak
Meditations in an Emergency

Art and Lies
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Here's a good article from the Observer on the success of the novel, The Sleeping Father, by Matthew Sharpe, which was published by Soft Skull Press. A nice insight into the randomity of large publishers and the way that books can sometimes shoot to the top from the bottom, no matter how far down they are on the list in the publishing world.

Also, a fun interview with one of my favorite novelists ever, Jeanette Winterson, who has a new book coming out this month, Lighthousekeeping. People either love or hate Winterson. I rarely meet anyone who's read her and is in the middle. A few years ago, my friend Jenna and I talked passionately about her all the time, and were collecting quotes from various of her books, thinking about making a collage out of them somehow. I should do that still. In any case, I love Winterson because she tells the truth. Or at least her truth is most often a truth that resonates with me. When I was seventeen, I bought her book, Sexing the Cherry, because the cover (Vintage's edition from the 90s) was so full of adventure and surreality. I read the first few pages and had never encountered a book like it. I took the book to the lake in my hometown every day for a month that summer, working my way through it while stretched out on the dock. I had no clue what the book was about, what to make of it, but I was compelled to read it, like reading a magical tome written in a language that was somehow made out of words I could recognize, but the patterns of narrative were all very foreign to me. After I finished it, exhilarated but still clueless, I read it again. And again. I've probably read the book eight or nine times by now, and I learn something new from it each time. I've also read all her other books, and hold them close to my heart. Her world, familiar yet strange, has become a home for me in dark times. And in this interview, she manages to say a few things that cut deep, although sometimes you never manage to realize you've been cut until a long time later, and after real consideration.

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