Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Link Corral: Franzen in DC, Gatz in NYC & More

A few items of note—writing-related and not—to ease us into the abruptly energetic environment of autumn:

--Finally a use for the Kindle et al: I was fortunate enough to stay for a long weekend at The Breakers, a historic resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and fortunate enough to see all the hurricanes sidle by at a distance. However, they sent quite a bit of wind our way—25 mph, which doesn’t sound like much unless you’re trying to sit at a beach or pool. Still, guests were intrepid and kept at it, trying to read books and magazines in the gale. Happiest readers I saw? Those reading their Kindles. No page-flapping there.

--A new food discovery:
Avocado “fries.” Wedges of avocados dredged in a cornmeal batter and deep-fried, served with a light cilantro-jalapeno-mayonnaise...creamiest, richest avocados ever! “Resort” doesn’t have to mean spa food! Also, why don’t more restaurants offer freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert? So easy and yummy!

--Franzen frenzy: I’m not going into all that now, but I will note that Jonathan Franzen is coming to DC to read in the PEN/Faulkner reading series (2/18/11), and if you are dying to see him read, you might want to get your tickets now. There are a lot of other great writers coming this year, so do check out the site here.

--For poets and writers with—ahem—titling issues: Here’s an excellent interview with poet Anna Leahy who discusses the process of putting together her first poetry collection, Constituents of Matter: “I had sent out an earlier version of the manuscript for a couple of years. That manuscript had been a finalist, but I took it out of circulation for more than a year, during which I had an especially intense summer of revision. I came up with the new title, Constituents of Matter, which led to a re-seeing. The Wick Poetry Prize was in the first batch of a half-dozen competitions to which I sent Constituents of Matter. So, it seemed to take ages to find a publisher, but it actually was picked up quickly once I had figured out how to think about the concept of book.” Read the rest here.

--Admit it…you’re curious: The Public Theatre in NYC is presenting GATZ, an enactment of The Great Gatsby, which takes about six and a half hours. Here’s the info from the website:

“One morning in the low-rent office of a mysterious small business, an employee finds a copy of The Great Gatsby in the clutter of his desk. He starts to read it out loud, and doesn’t stop. At first his coworkers hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences, it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book or the book is transforming him.

“One of the most exciting and improbable accomplishments in theater in recent years” (The New York Times), GATZ is a theatrical and literary tour de force, not a retelling of the Gatsby story but an enactment of the novel itself. Over the course of 6 1/2 hours, Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece is delivered word for word, startlingly brought to life by a low-rent office staff in the midst of their inscrutable business operations. The cast of 13 actors includes Scott Shepherd (The Wooster Group’s Hamlet).

"GATZ will be presented as a marathon theatrical event, with two intermissions and a dinner break, four times per week: September 26 – November 14, 2010"

Promise you’ll tell me if you go!


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