Monday, July 7, 2008

Articles of Note

Here, in the Washington Post Book World, Ron Charles reviews Roxanna Robinson’s new novel, Cost, which I read earlier this summer and admired: “With such fierce moments of anxiety and grief, this is, frankly, a challenging novel to read, but Robinson's insight makes it impossible to break away. She has crept into corners of human experience each of us is terrified to approach: the loss of our children, our parents, our minds, the implacable tragedies that shred our sense of how the world should work. Toward the end, Robinson writes, ‘There was now a great silent ringing where the sky had been.’ Like every moment in this novel, that sounds chillingly right.”


My husband Steve gets credit for pointing out this interesting article by novelist Dinaw Mengestu in the Wall Street Journal, about being an expat writer in Paris nowadays, vs. the glory days when Ernest Hemingway and the others were hanging out, working, drinking, shooting the breeze at the cafes: “It's hard if not inevitable now to think of that previous generation of writers and not romanticize them and their lives here a bit: to think of yourself sitting under a bright light at a table in the back of the elegant CafĂ© de Flore, in shouting distance of Sartre or Simone de Beauvoir, or to have been on the terrace at the neighboring Les Deux Magots when James Baldwin and Richard Wright reportedly had a heated argument about an essay Baldwin had written excoriating Wright's ‘Native Son.’ … If Baldwin and Wright were to sit down today to two cups of coffee on the terrace of Les Deux Magots to argue about an essay, their bill, without tip, would be almost $15.”


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.