Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Book Reviews!

Have you been checking out our reviews section? It's updated weekly!

Writers Revealed: 7.1 Sin in the Second City

Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in American history—and a catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation. Operating in Chicago’s notorious Levee district at the dawn of the last century, the Club’s proprietors, two aristocratic (or so they said) sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh, attracted the elites of the world with their opulent parlors and stunning courtesans. While lesser whorehouses specialized in deflowering virgins, beatings and bondage, the Everleighs spoiled their harlots with couture gowns, gourmet meals and extraordinary salaries. Not everyone appreciated the sisters’ attempts to elevate the industry. Rival madams hatched numerous schemes to ruin the Everleighs, including attempts to frame them for murder. But the sisters' most daunting foes were the Progressive Era reformers, who whipped the entire country into a frenzy with lurid tales of “white slavery.” It was a furor that shaped America's sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House, even leading to the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, John D. Rockefeller Jr., Theodore Dreiser, William Howard Taft, and Al Capone, Sin in the Second City is Karen Abbott’s portrait of the maverick Everleigh sisters, their world-famous Club, and the perennial clash between our hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots.

Writers Revealed: Karen Abbott Karen Abbott worked as a journalist on the staffs of Philadelphia magazine and Philadelphia Weekly, and has written for Salon and other publications. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives with her husband in Atlanta, where she’s at work on her next book for Random House, a portrait of Gypsy Rose Lee and Depression-era New York City. Visit her at www.sininthesecondcity.com.

Want to score a free copy of SIN? Simply leave a question for the author here and if we use it on the air, you'll win a free copy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Writers Revealed: Virtual Book Club

Have you thought about joining a book club but grew tired of the drama, the scheduling, the shrieking: I HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK YET!? Afraid to commit to a monthly book club but want to check out a few new books? Want to chat with today's most buzzworthy authors, LIVE? From the comfort of your own home? Well, pull up a chair, put on a pot of tea and charge your phone, because Writers Revealed will launch the WR Virtual Book Club.

Each month you'll have the opportunity to chat live with one of our authors and score a free book in the process.

We're kicking off our Virtual Book Club on August 5, 2007 with Meredith Hall, author of Without a Map and in September, we'll be chatting with Dani Shapiro, author of Black and White

There is no commitment to the club - you pick and choose which live chats you want to participate in, and we'll send you a copy of the book a month in advance of the chat date.

Interested? Leave a comment on the WR website or send an email to writersrevealed -at- writersrevealed -dot- com with the subject line: VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Writers Revealed Site Launch

Check out my new venture: Writers Revealed. Chat with today's most buzzworthy authors, LIVE, and score some free books in the process.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Writers Revealed 6.10.07 Joshua Ferris & Michelle Goodman: the Post-it edition & *free books!

Writers Revealed 6.10.07: Joshua Ferris This week on Writers Revealed: Joshua Ferris, author of the novel Then We Came to the End. We'll be chatting about his novel, the drone of office life, the dot.com era, whether the office is a surrogate of one's home, and what's the deal with Chris Yop and the chair anyway? (hint: it's in the book!). And as soon as I received Michelle Goodman's incredible book, The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube, in the mail (I ripped the package open with my teeth, people), I knew I had to have her on the show. Click here to access the show & we're taking callers so feel free to share your questions, LIVE!

About Then We Came to the End:
Then We Came to the End charts the end days of a Chicago ad agency caught in the burst new-economy bubble. As the firm’s employees watch those around them laid off and wait for their own walking papers, they obsess over one another’s behavior and the secrets co-workers may or may not be keeping. In Ferris’ descriptions of entire floors closed off and abandoned as the firm shrinks, and of workers clinging to a futile illusion of business as usual, there’s a tragic and palpable hubris.
- from the Small Spiral Notebook Review

More Links
Joshua Ferris's website
Powells.com Interview

About The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube The days seem long with too much time for work and the nights seem short with too little time for sleep. What's a modern girl to do? When you have a passion you want follow it, when you have a dream you want to make it reality, but when you have bills, they must be paid. It often appears as though you can't have the best of both worlds. Today, lots of women would love to integrate their passion with their career and are seeking advice on how to do just that. Michelle Goodman, a self proclaimed, "wage-slave" has written a fun, reassuring, girlfriend-to-girlfriend guide on identifying your passion, transitioning out of that unfulfilling job, and doing it all in a smart practical way.

More Links
Michelle Goodman's website
MediaBistro Interview with Rachel Kramer Bussel

Update! Publishers of both books are sending over *free* copies for our readers/listeners! If you have a question for any of the authors, leave it on my website or feel free to call in on Sunday!

Monday, June 04, 2007

SSN Interview: Dani Shapiro

JDH: I've certainly read good books about angry children and angry parents before, but no author explores anger with the psychological complexity you do in [your novels]. Even your piece from Story in 1993 explores anger—a mother irritates a daughter by intruding on her while she's getting a bikini wax. What are your thoughts on anger?

DS: I’ll resort to another favorite quote. Edward Albee once said this: “For the anger and rage to work aesthetically, the writer’s got to distance himself from it and write in what Frank O’Hara referred to in one of his poems as ‘the memory of my feelings.’ Rage is incoherent. Observed rage can be coherent.” I’ve thought of that quote often, over the years. You can substitute pretty much any intense emotion there—grief, elation, heartbreak, desire—and it’s true that it is impossible to write out of the immediacy...

I’m glad you brought up that short story, “The Way Women Laugh”, which was published a long time ago in Story Magazine. It was, by my estimation, my first decent story. Talk about the shimmer around the edges—that story was borne out of a moment when my own mother did in fact walk into a room in a spa where I was getting a bikini wax. If you’re a writer, and your mother walks in on your bikini wax, you’re pretty much gonna write about it. I was blessed with a mother who gave me tremendously good fodder as a writer. She was a difficult mother in almost every other way, but she supplied me with many years worth of material—which is probably how I managed my own rage toward her. You might even say that I turned her into my muse—the way Ruth turns Clara into hers. Though nakedness in writing and nakedness in image-making are completely different animals. As is taking on one’s mother—versus taking on one’s daughter.

Click here to read Small Spiral Notebook's interview with Dani Shapiro

Writers Revealed 6.10.07 Joshua Ferris

Writers Revealed 6.10.07: Joshua Ferris This week on Writers Revealed: Joshua Ferris, author of the novel Then We Came to the End. We'll be chatting about his novel, the drone of office life, the dot.com era, whether the office is a surrogate of one's home, and what's the deal with Chris Yop and the chair anyway? (hint: it's in the book!). Click here to access the show & we're taking callers so feel free to share your questions, LIVE!

About the Book:
Then We Came to the End charts the end days of a Chicago ad agency caught in the burst new-economy bubble. As the firm’s employees watch those around them laid off and wait for their own walking papers, they obsess over one another’s behavior and the secrets co-workers may or may not be keeping. In Ferris’ descriptions of entire floors closed off and abandoned as the firm shrinks, and of workers clinging to a futile illusion of business as usual, there’s a tragic and palpable hubris. The novel is rich with stirring images, as in this scene of after-hours dormancy:
After everyone went home for the night, after we all fell asleep and the city dimmed, Oldies continued to play inside the abandoned office. Picture it—only a parallelogram of light in the doorway. A happy tune by the Drifters issuing in the dark at two, three o’clock in the morning, when elsewhere murders were taking place, drug deals, unspeakable assaults.

Like the apocryphal story of Nero fiddling as Rome burns, nostalgic Oldies play with no one to listen and herald the assumed safety and detachment of those “inside”—even while they are sleeping at home—from the dangerous world beyond the American office.
- from the Small Spiral Notebook Review

More Links
Joshua Ferris's website
Powells.com Interview

Writers Revealed: Leslie Bennetts recap

If you missed out on yesterday's Writers Revealed show, feel free to click here to listen! Leslie Bennetts and I chatted about the perils of economic dependency and how stay-at-home mothers (through rigorous and sound financial and career planning) can keep current while out of the job force (and the startling statistics that reveal, after only a year, how a woman’s earning power can sharply decline). We discussed how The Feminine Mistake is not another salvo at the Mommy Wars but more that it raises awareness and criticism of U.S. policy issues - why aren't women's choices equally rewarded? Why don't we provide financial security for women who choose to remain at home? We talked of the marriage dynamic when there is a soul breadwinner (after me having screened Todd Field’s Little Children that afternoon) and how that can possibly change the relationship from one of a partnership to a parent/child dynamic. Bennetts addressed her critics who spoke of her narrow demographic (the educated, affluent Northeast) and we discussed statistics that show children of stay at home mothers fared no better than children of working mothers.

Want to listen to the show? Click here! And thanks to all who submitted terrific questions!!! I used a great deal on the show and I've contacted those who will receive their copy of Leslie Bennetts's book.

This Week on Writers Revealed (6.10.07) Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to The End