Posts by: Maddie Oatman

Vivid Cast of Characters: Book Club Roundup

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Deborah Baker‘s The Convert made the review rounds this week: the LA Times, Forbes, Washington Post, and Kirkus Reviews all posted critiques of this peculiar and intriguing book. “The story of Maryam Jameelah is an extraordinary but painfully confused true tale,” writes WaPo‘s Pamela Constable. “Having romanticized Islam from afar and imagined it as a secure, all-embracing escape from human foibles and fears, […]

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One Quick Flash: Book Club Roundup

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Lucky Fish by Aimee Nezhukumatathil has won the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize for books. The US Review of Books writes: “By enfolding folk beliefs, tales, or superstitions into contemporary experience, place, or situations, these poems delineate a fascinating, unexpected adventure.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews Tayari Jones‘ Silver Sparrow, praising the way “the exchanges between […]

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The Author in a Lie: Book Club Roundup

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“It’s funny—when it comes to memoir, we want to catch the author in a lie. For fiction, we want to catch the author telling the truth,” Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow, says in a self-interview on The Nervous Breakdown. “I took sparrow from the hymn ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow’ — being the […]

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Lion’s Club: Book Club Roundup

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Woot! Adam Levin won the NY Public Library’s Young Lion Fiction Award for The Instructions. Looks like Mr. Levin’s getting the drinks next time (the award comes with a $10,000 cash prize). The Book Spy blog spots Levin on the subway and wonders about his flashy jacket. May’s book club selections are Daniel Orozco‘s short […]

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Throwing Poetry at People: Rumpus Book Club Roundup

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Tayari Jones, author of the Rumpus Book Club’s May pick Silver Sparrow gets love from The Village Voice: “Jones… is fast defining middle-class black Atlanta the way Cheever did Westchester.” Read an excerpt of the book on Scribd. HTML Giant writes: “powerful and unforgettable and full of soul. This is another one of those books […]

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“Luminous Bruises in the Fog”: Book Club Roundup

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Earthquakes breeding nuclear meltdowns, tornadoes razing towns in the South, immense tropical storms: the news never fails to feed us weather calamities. That’s why Jim Shepard‘s You Think That’s Bad will surely spark a sky-gazing reader’s attention: “He’s our leading miniaturist of massive catastrophe, the Jon Krakauer—or is it the Michael Bay?—of the MFA set, […]

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We All Feel Suspended: Book Club Round-Up

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Dean Young is one of the freshest, boldest, most confident poets out there; his poems’ structures are completely unique, often winding out of control before settling into moments of recognition and revelation. We all feel/suspended over a drop into nothingness./Once you get close enough, you see what/one is stitching is the human heart. Another/is vomiting […]

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Signs of Spring: Book Club Round-Up

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Time to start April’s book club selection, The Convert, by Deborah Baker. Says Bookforum’s reviews editor Michael Miller: “I think Stephen Elliott has good taste, so I usually check out what he chooses for his reading group at The Rumpus. That’s how I heard about Deborah Baker’s The Convert.” For May, book club editors just couldn’t […]

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Happy Hour: The Rumpus Book Club Round-Up

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The Rumpus Book club reveals how Jim Shepard might just be your favorite catastrophist. Lidia Yuknavitch‘s sentences can be rambling and unorthodox, says Books and Brews blogger of her new book The Chronology of Water. “Easily the most important thing to grasp from this memoir is the idea that memory is an ever-shifting entity.” Read […]

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Are You a Romantic? Friday Book Club Round-Up

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Roxane Gay examines Lidia Yuknavitch‘s Chronology of Water, the current Rumpus Book Club selection. Her review is organized into handy sections, and she ends with an affirmative: “I will just say I fucking loved this book and I strongly encourage anyone reading this to buy the book immediately and then keep it beneath your pillow […]

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Le Book Club Round-Up

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Deus Ex Machina made the pages of The Wall Street Journal; reviewer Sam Sacks calls Andrew Altschul‘s novel about a reality TV show “heady and fast-paced.” SanJose.com also reviews Deus Ex Machina, saying “it is enough to make you doubt yourself and the world.” Louisville’s Leo Weekly sings Timothy Donnelly‘s praises, saying that his latest […]

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Cheap Cab Rides: Friday Book Club Round-Up

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Tao Lin gets mentioned in a Guardian article about the challenges of naming characters. “I chose names that would not cause the reader to feel like there was hidden meaning in them, or that the characters were symbolic or the story was an allegory,” he says, though with a novel out whose protagonist is called […]

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A Tricky Balance: Book Club Round-Up

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“How do you satirize something that’s already a parody of itself?” asks Michael Schaub of NPR in his write-up of Andrew Altschul‘s Deus Ex Machina. Schaub finds Altschul’s attempts to do so pretty successful, calling the novel brilliantly observed and praising the book for showing how “there’s not much reality in reality television, and even […]

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Hinting at Meaning: Friday Book Club Round-Up

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We’ve compiled links to footage of several interviews with Jim Shepard, whose You Think That’s Bad is our February Book Club pick. Truthdig has posted an excerpt of Andrew Foster Altschul‘s new novel Deus Ex Machina. The scene shows a Lost-type reality show about to start its 13th season:

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The Trick of Thinking Through Infinity: Book Club Round-Up

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I remember/ the trick of thinking through infinity, a crowd of eyes/ against an asphalt wall, writes Timothy Donnelly in his poem “The Cloud Corporation.” If you haven’t had the chance to pore through his latest collection by the same name, you can find some of his new poems on the Poetry Foundation website. The […]

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While Away the Hours: Book Club Round-Up

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You can read notes from our book club discussion of Pacazo, Roy Kesey‘s new novel that reminded one reader of The Sound and the Fury, “with an unreliable narrator whose narrative goes back and forth in time.” If you’re in Minneapolis (current temperature: 18 degrees), a nice way to stave off frostbite is to hulk […]

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The Wonders of the Universe: The Book Club Round Up

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Poetry gets so ignored. A moment to appreciate the bad-ass poets of the Rumpus Poetry Club and some of their accolades this past year: Timothy Donnelly‘s Cloud Corporation earned a spot among “The Year’s Best Poetry” according to NPR (also on the list: Rumpus contributor and all-star poet Matthew Zapruder). The Believer‘s David Gorin reviews […]

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Book Club Round-Up

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“San Francisco is the best place in the country to be a writer,” says author Andrew Altschul in a profile by Publisher’s Weekly about his new book Deux Ex Machina. Considering Altschul’s novel takes on the morally vapid world of reality TV, we’re certainly glad he likes his surroundings. Otherwise, his world of termite mound […]

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Close By and Personal: A Book Club Round Up

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Poet and essayist S.X. Rosenstock recaps a night in West Hollywood with readers from Rumpus Women, Volume 1 on The Huffington Post. “Prior to this I’ve never been at a reading where four writers in a row were able to offer a high level of artistic craft in their prose AND employ an unerring sense […]

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The Tolstoy Challenge: Book Club Round-Up

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NPR’s Bill Goldstein took on Adam Levin’s “thousand-page debut splash,” The Instructions, calling it “daunting enough as a matter of real estate alone.” Read Goldstein’s review to find out whether he thinks it prevails in the Tolstoy Challenge (are books over a thousand pages worth reading over War and Peace?). Canada’s The National Post offers: […]

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Intoxication with the Glory: Book Club Round-Up

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The Guardian‘s Nicholas Lezard examines Tao Lin‘s Richard Yates. “It is all achingly hip,” Lezard writes, “in its studied avoidance of the depths that literary fiction is meant to plumb. And that might be the end of the matter – but I don’t think it is.” Read more here. Bookforum.com calls Adam Levin’s The Instructions […]

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Fem Lit, Black Lit, Yid Lit, Digi Lit: Book Club Round Up

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-You can still get a copy of The Rumpus Women Volume 1, edited by Julie Greicius and Elissa Bassist (whose interview with Amy Sedaris is outlandishly funny) if you sign up by November 15th. –Elizabeth Alexander‘s experience as a black American results in poems like “Affirmative Action Blues” and “Race” in her new collection, Crave […]

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For All Your Thrills: Rumpus Book Club Round-Up

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The Columbia Spectator talks to Timothy Donnelly about his new collection of poems, The Cloud Corporation, revealing his patience with the craft, propensity for pauses, and how he relishes the “quirky aspects of language.” The Chicago Tribune calls Adam Levin‘s The Instructions “bold, fast, funny, and ambitious.”

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Little Reptiles and How to Draw a Hamster

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In a new artistic video by Amanda Joy, Surf Guru author Doug Dorst reads his story “Little Reptiles,” and creepy crawlies start to come out of the woodworks (well, background). In another artistic video, Richard Yates author Tao Lin discusses his forthcoming iPhone app called “North American Hamsters,” which features 60 hamsters who give advice. […]

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Rumpus Book Club Round-Up: Breaking Up and Getting Back Together

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The Rumpus got busy reviewing its own book club picks this week, with Kevin Thomas’s comic review of Lan Samantha Chang‘s All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost and book club member John Brown’s effusive critique of Adam Levin‘s The Instructions. Well-Read Wife‘s Mandy doesn’t find anything wrong with The Instructions, but wrote a letter in […]

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Book Club Wonders

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-How big is Adam Levin‘s The Instructions? Joseph Michael Owens reveals four demonstrative photos. -What does Tao Lin sound like in person? A clip of him reading at Litquake on October 4th. -Is Lin’s Richard Yates immensely relatable? Corey K. from City Arts thinks so. -“Is Tao Lin’s medicated prose my generation’s brain voice?” asks […]

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The Weekly Book Club Round-Up

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Lan Samantha Chang‘s novel All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost appeared in the New York Times Book Review, making her and Tao Lin the 3rd and 4th Rumpus Book Club authors we’ve chosen who’s also been reviewed by New York’s esteemed publication. The review mostly focuses on the plot of Chang’s novel, and considering the […]

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El Club de Libros

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We shipped The Instructions, by Adam Levin, to our Book Club members yesterday, a full month ahead of publication. There are whispers that this is one of McSweeney’s best yet; those signed up will get to delve into this thick tome and decide for themselves. Interested? Click here to join (we’ll ship for another week). […]

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