Lit-Link Round-up


Best weird girl lit for outsider teens, from the Guardian. Which probably means this is a mandatory reading list for Normal Girls too, and for any teen with a penis, since understanding Weird Girls is kind of a prerequisite to…everything.

The ten worst sex scenes in modern literature? Well, that’s a lofty claim, but the Telegraph takes a…uh…stab at it.

I keep getting tagged by writers for this Next Big Thing project, and keep being a wanker and saying I’m too busy. Check out some of the writers who are being cooler about it than I am.

One thing that kept me busy was giving it up to Jessica Anya Blau, creator of The Nervous Breakdown’s fabulously TMI series, The Six Question Sex Interview.

A day in the life of a freelance journalist, circa 2013…

VIDA’s count and the AWP aftermath.

Everyone I respect seems to be obsessed with Anne Carson. As this writer defies categorization, so her latest book, Red Doc, isn’t quite a sequel to her luminous Autobiography of Red. The Times included a rave this week; here on Paste, Nathan Huffstutter, too, elaborates.

Mag Gabbert is a new writer. I hooked her up over on The Nervous Breakdown and she’s killing it there, and I’m wildly happy about that. Check her out.

I interview Emily Rapp at Bookslut. If you haven’t watched Emily on The Today Show, here it is. And the New York Timesreview of The Still Point of the Turning World.

In case you missed yesterday’s round-up: a definitive AWP wrap-up.

The thing about AWP: you never see even a quarter of the people you planned to hang out with. Amanda Eyre Ward and I were going to have a drink to talk about her interview with Emily for The Rumpus. Of course I was going to attend the Rumpus party (and finally meet Roxane Gay in person), and hopefully have Isaac swing me around in the air because that should be an AWP ritual, but it turned out the event was really far away from where I was having dinner with my editor and I couldn’t make it in the narrow window of time. I was going to eat lunch with Stacy Bierlein and Allison Amend, but instead I never ate lunch at all. Everyone at the conference was buzzing about Cheryl Strayed, but I never even got to catch a glimpse of her–I haven’t, in fact, seen her since her Wild release party at AWP Chicago, when we already knew great things were in store for Cheryl, but no one could have predicted all this. Pam Houston is on faculty at Other Voices Queretaro, but we never crossed paths. So on and so on. I saw Bryan Tomasovich only long enough to repeatedly bum drags of his hand-rolled cigarettes and try on his Italian hat, but we never really got to talk. Freaking Dan Wickett didn’t even make it to Boston. AWP is the biggest indie publishing reunion of the year but you can only be so many places when even the book fair spans 3 different cavernous conference halls. My first night of the conference, Tod Goldberg and I both ate sushi at a chi-chi restaurant, but only I spent the night barfing afterwards. Whenever you’re with Tod, things happen as though it’s The Larry David Show, but sometimes he’s Larry and other times you are, by proximity. I love every AWP even better than the last one, because at this point every AWP combines the new and the nostalgic. If you’re Stephen Elliott, you go to the VIDA prom because you’re smart enough to figure out that’s going to be long on women and short on men. Why didn’t all the other guys call that one too? It’s hard to say, but men who don’t make women come to them always win out on the dance floor (and arguably elsewhere). The joke at the Dzanc table was, “That Matt Bell, he’s such a slacker who never helps anyone,” because there was basically a line down the aisle at all times of people who had come to tell Matt how fabulous he is and how much he’s done for their careers. Stephen Dau said there are two kinds of writers, those who help other writers and those who don’t. There are more than two kinds of writers, but still, Matt Bell is so much the first kind that no matter who you’re talking to, you can quip that he’s an asshole and they get the joke. At my last AWP dinner, Rob Roberge forced everyone to eat at a dive called Mr. Sushi where the air conditioning was blasting in the middle of a snowstorm, and this time nobody puked, although Tod Goldberg is still bitter.

Other Voices Books has a new site design. Thanks, Leah Tallon!

Gina Frangello is the author of four books of fiction and a forthcoming memoir, Blow Your House Down. Her novel A Life in Men (Algonquin 2014) is currently under development by Netflix as a series produced by Charlize Theron’s production company, Denver & Delilah. Her most recent novel, Every Kind of Wanting (Counterpoint 2016) was included on several “best of” lists for 2016, including Chicago Magazine’s and The Chicago Review of Books’. She has nearly 20 years of experience as an editor, having founded both the independent press Other Voices Books, and the fiction section of the popular online literary community The Nervous Breakdown. She has also served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, and as the faculty editor for both TriQuarterly Online and The Coachella Review. Her short fiction, essays, book reviews, and journalism have been published in such venues as Salon, the LA Times, Ploughshares, the Boston Globe, BuzzFeed, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and in many other magazines and anthologies. After two decades of teaching at many universities, including UIC, Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies, UCLA Extension, the University of California Riverside Palm Desert, Roosevelt University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, Gina is excited to be a student again at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Program for Writers, where she has returned to complete the PhD she left unfinished twenty years ago. More from this author →