Monday, May 21, 2007


Hello Friends, This is Jess, Book Review Editor of SSN.

Below you'll find links to my recent Newsweek essay on condolences, as well as links to some of our amazing review staff's publications: Carolyn Slutsky's article in The New York Times. Jessica Allen's article in Poets & Writers and Reese Kwon's review in The New York Sun. Enjoy!

'I'm Sorry' Shouldn't Be the Hardest Words
Losing my father was painful enough without having other people try to talk me out of my grief. By Jess deCourcy Hinds. Click here to read the article.

Reese Kwon's Review of "Singing America" by Caille Millner in The New York Sun

Carolyn Slutsky's piece on immigrant protest in The New York Times (Carolyn is also a reporter with Jewish Week, so you can find her on the newsstands every week!)

Jessica Allen's piece about Miranda July and The Believer in Poets & Writers magazine.

SEED Magazine Essay Contest

A favorite science magazine of mine, Seed Magazine is holding a 2007 Essay Writing Contest. The contest is designed to foster young talented writers – and will feature 1200 word essays that tackle the question: What does it mean to be scientifically literate in the 21st Century? The essays will be judged by a panel of Seed editors and special guest judges.

The winners will receive a monetary prize and have their essays published in the September/October issue of Seed Magazine. The call for entries has already begun, and the submission deadline is July 1st.

Oh, and check this Phylotaxis by Jonathan Harris. It's pretty sweet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Between the Sheets: Writers Revealed

Listen to Writers Revealed I'm beyond excited to launch my new project, Between the Sheets: Writers Revealed. My debut show will air live, this Sunday, May 20th at 7pm EST/4pm PST. I'll be live in the studio with a fuzzy mike praying I won't need Xanax.

Join me each week in a new kind of Sunday Book Review where I guarantee it won’t be books as usual.  Participate in live discussions, book giveaways, and opportunities to get between the sheets with some of today's most buzzworthy writers. From examining choice feminism in Leslie Bennetts’s The Feminist Mistake, to recalling our horrifying and hilarious high school memories with the authors of When I Was a Loser, to dissecting bad mothers in contemporary fiction, to reimagining Jamestown in a post 9/11 New York to reliving The Office, really, in Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End, the writers you’ll meet and the stories you’ll hear will get you talking long after the show is over.

And this is only the beginning. I'm not a critic (I don't know how to be one), I'm just someone who loves books and loves promoting authors. I've been doing this for almost six years with my literary journal Small Spiral Notebook, and now I have the wonderful opportunity to chat with authors I'm fond of, without being so serious about it.

Feel free to check out my debut show lineup by clicking here and leave your comments/questions because I've got free books!!! to unload.

And if you'd like, won't you please post this little widget on your website or spread the word? THANKS!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Check out our latest interviews!

Scott Esposito: Jamestown's world is very violent, so violent in fact that it often feels cartoonish. Maybe its best summed up by the observations of one of your main characters, bus-rider and slacker skeptic Johnny Rolfe, who says "Some great, quaint pre-annihilation philosopher described the movement of history as thesis, antithesis, synthesis, whereas I've seen a lot more thesis, antithesis, steak knife, bread knife." Why are things so violent?

Matthew Sharpe: Because they were and are. The Jamestown settlement was a fertile ground for the flowering of man’s inhumanity to man: English against Indians, Indians against English, English against English, Indians against Indians. But especially English against Indians. The settlers decimated the locals, commandeered their land, kidnapped, tortured, and killed them. The English thought their God was better than the Indians’, thought their skin and clothes and civilization were better. And England’s foreign policy in the early 17th century bears a striking resemblance to ours now: extract the foreigners’ resources, save them with our superior values, kill them with our superior weapons, and do it all with breathtaking incompetence.

click here to read Scott Esposito's interview with Matthew Sharpe, author of Jamestown.

Mary Phillips Sandy: I read an interview in which you said that this book started when Joseph came to you and told you to write about him – is that typical for you, that books start with a character demanding attention?

Alison McGhee: No, this was the only time that’s ever happened to me. I blame myself, really, because I was being melodramatic. I’d been a couple of months without a real focus in my work, and that’s a kind of hell for me. I pretended I was Job. I spread my arms to the universe and said, “Give me something to write about!” Then this boy just leaped into my mind. He was sitting in the wheelchair and he looked up at me, his hands were on the wheels. He said – he swore at me, but I won’t say that for the interview. He said, “What, you can’t write about me?”

And I really didn’t want to. I’m not a boy; I’m not a teenage boy. I don’t know what it’s like to get through life using a wheelchair. I felt intimidated by the whole idea of it, but he truly would not leave me alone. I wound up putting years into the work and figuring out what he wanted.

click here to read Mary Phillips Sandy's interview with Alison McGhee, author of Falling Boy.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rishi Reddi on Current TV

Finally Current TV has something I can watch (kidding, they're great). Rishi Reddi, author of Karma and Other Stories (who is interviewed on SSN), gets a spot on the Culture Clash section. It's certainly worth a look. Furthermore, and possibly even more exciting, I have one signed copy of Karma and Other Stories just aching to be sent to the first person who e-mails me at Please include your mailing address and the subject heading "My Karma Is Green". Good luck.

*Congrats to Brian H.