From the monthly archives: September 2013

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

I am thrilled to announce that xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, is officially out! It’s edited by the wonderful Kate Bernheimer, and offers fifty new takes on myths from lots of different traditions. Aside from my own GALATEA, you’ll find stories by Aimee Bender, Kevin Wilson, Joy Williams, Zachary Mason, Kelly Braffet and Owen King, and Max Gladstone–who does a terrific retelling of an episode from the Mahabharata. The collection has already gotten a rave review from Booklist. Myth-lovers, rejoice!

Cover for xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, edited by Kate Bernheimer

 

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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

I noted in my last post that I was yearning for crisper weather. The Reykjavik International Literary Festival definitely granted my wish! Iceland offered gorgeous blue skies, but the wind was regularly blowing at 50 miles an hour, and it hailed several times. Also, there was a sandstorm.

Crazy weather aside, I had a terrific time at the festival, which is a true haven for book lovers, and was also delighted to get to meet everyone at my wonderful Icelandic publisher, Salka, led by Hildur Hermóðsdóttir. I particularly enjoyed the cover they did for the Iceland edition, translated by Þórunn Hjartardóttir. It uses one of my favorite statues–Menelaus supporting Patroclus’ dead body, currently in Florence:

Cover of Icelandic edition of The Song of Achilles, Salka Press. Translated by Þórunn Hjartardóttir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, Iceland is just as beautiful as everyone says, routinely offering vistas like this:

Glimpsing the Bifrost at Skogafoss waterfall. Sadly, no Heimdall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also learned about Iceland’s annual Christmas-season “book flood” a lovely tradition where everyone gives each other books for the holidays. My kind of place!

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Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Delighted to announce that Library Journal gave my short story Galatea a starred review!  The full text is here (my review is the last on the page).

In other news, The Guardian chose The Song of Achilles for their August book club, which included the chance to answer reader questions live for an hour.  I had a great time and have never typed so fast in my life!

I’m also excited to be heading off to the Reykjavik Literary Festival next week, where I’m doing a reading and a public interview, and also taking part in the (gulp) Literary Death Match.  (More details on times and places for all those on my appearances page.)  One of my favorite books of the past year, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, is set in Iceland, and will definitely be coming with me.  If you haven’t read it yet, I absolutely recommend it.

As I was typing the date for this post, I realized with shock that exactly two years ago today The Song of Achilles was published for the first time by Bloomsbury in the UK.  I can still remember just how nervous and thrilled I was holding the hardback in my hands.  I can also remember being worried that it would never find an audience. But thanks to the loveliness and generosity of publishers, booksellers, and especially readers, it did.  I am so grateful–thank you.

I wish you all a very happy start to September.  After the heatwaves and humidity here in Cambridge, I admit to being eager for crisper weather!

 

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