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By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
The author Madison Smartt Bell's 16th work of fiction, a book of short stories called "Zig Zag Wanderer" is guaranteed to make the author absolutely no money whatsoever. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Not one blessed penny. And he wouldn't have it any other way. Bell's previous 13 novels and two short story collections have been released by mainstream publishers and have been finalists for such prizes as the PEN/Faulkner and National Book awards. He is best known for his trilogy about the Haitian slave uprising of 1791.
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NEWS
May 31, 2014
The opening of the Edgar Allan Poe House at 30 Amity Street was a small milestone in preserving important historical realities of Baltimore City. This opening also represented a significant achievement by a small number of citizens who realized that cooperative nonprofit action can serve a constructive purpose. It is interesting to note that the French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville, in his work "Democracy in America," in the 1830s noted that Americans "are forever forming associations.
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FEATURES
By ANN G. SJOERDSMA | September 23, 1990
American Stories: FictionFrom The Atlantic Monthly.Edited by C. Michael Curtis.Chronicle Books.239 pages. $9.95 (paperback).In this age of literary minimalism, in which a hastily drawn sketch passes for a character portrait and "things-as-they-are" observations substitute for insight, it is gratifying and refreshing to read stories peopled with full-bodied, emotionally layered characters and steeped in smart everyday situational irony.Of the 20 short stories selected for inclusion in "American Stories: Fiction From The Atlantic Monthly," senior editor C. Michael Curtis writes: "Something happens."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 26, 2014
The Baltimore novelist and short story writer Stephen Dixon has won a 2014 O. Henry Award for his short story, "Talk. " The annual prize honors 20 of the best short stories each year. Also on this year's list are such well-known national authors as Louise Erdrich and William Trevor. "Talk," which was published in "The American Reader," is a moving portrait of loneliness. In this stream of consciousness monologue, a recent widower realizes that he has gone nearly an entire day without speaking to another human being.
FEATURES
By JOAN MOONEY | November 25, 1990
The Best American Short Stories 1990.Edited by Richard Ford.Houghton Mifflin.374 pages. $19.95. Readers look to annual "best of" anthologies such as this one as a barometer of the current quality of an American literary form. They can also be used, without too much exaggeration, as a measure of what's on the minds of Americans.As if to illustrate that point, these stories are filled with unhappy marriages, lost love, children of divorce, and children and adults who are part of the drug culture.
FEATURES
By Tim Warren and Tim Warren,Sun Staff Writer | October 3, 1994
Every so often, a collection of short stories by a young writer gets an unusual amount of attention. Usually the writer had a story published first in the New Yorker or Esquire; by the time the collection comes out, anticipation has set in.A few years ago, it was Ethan Canin and his collection, "The Emperor of the Air." Last year, it was Thom Jones and his powerful "The Pugilist at Rest." This year, the candidate seems to be Kevin Canty, whose first collection, "A Stranger in This World," has already attracted strong notice.
FEATURES
By Wiley A. Hall 3rd dTC and Wiley A. Hall 3rd dTC,Mr. Hall is a columnist for The Evening Sun | December 9, 1990
Borderlands.Edited by Thomas F. Monteleone.Avon.334 pages. $3.95 (paperback).The typical horror story features the same, tired monsters: zombies and devils, werewolves and ghouls. Even vampires, for crying out loud.But Thomas F. Monteleone, editor of "Borderlands", a newly published anthology of horror and dark fantasy short stories, knows what really terrifies us.Everyday life scares us.Past masters of the genre such as Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock found stories that took the frightening aspects of life as we know it and bent it, just a little.
NEWS
By VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH and VICTORIA A. BROWNWORTH,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 16, 2006
All Things, All at Once Lee K. Abbott Voodoo Heart Scott Snyder Dial Press / 288 pages / $24 This review begins with a disclaimer: I'm in love with short stories. I love reading them, writing them and teaching about reading and writing them. I'm passionate about short stories in the classroom, tell my students that the short story is the perfect literary form: manageable yet memorable. Short stories require limited time commitment (even to write), yet they are sometimes far more mesmerizing than a novel.
NEWS
By Diane Scharper | August 18, 1991
GIRLS IN THE GRASS. Melanie Rae Thon. Random House. 272 pages. $18.PANGS OF LOVE. David Wong Louie. Knopf.225 pages. $19. The title story in David Wong Louie's first book, "Pangs of Love," refers to Mrs. Pang. Emigrating from China, Mrs. Pang believes that America is a place where dreams live; then she learns some of the many ways that dreams die. Similarly, each of the 12 stories in this collection focuses on Chinese-Americans who try to connect but find they cannot; their desire becomes "the flash of heat that accompanies the spirit's flight at the moment of death."
NEWS
By Michael Boylan | November 8, 1992
WHERE IS HERE?Joyce Carol Oates.Ecco Press.` 193 pages. $18.95.A call came from my brother in the hospital: Help me to die. You gave up expecting smiles from him -- the facial muscles had atrophied. Also his eyelids couldn't close completely, he'd be watching you always. Even with the glassy eyeball rolled up blank, you knew he was watching. I said, I can't be tricked more than once! and hung up the phone. Remembering my brother had already died, and he'd done it without my help.Thus opens "Insomnia," the best of this experimental book of short stories.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 12, 2014
When Baltimore writer Rafael Alvarez was driving around the country peddling his books, he sold a collection of his newspaper articles and short stories to a drunken farmer in a men's room outside Memphis, Tenn. He's spent countless nights sleeping in his truck. He's traded a book for a meal. A good day is when he ekes out just enough money to buy enough gas to get him to the next town - and that's assuming he doesn't run into an ice storm. So what would Alvarez consider to be a not-so-good day on the road?
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
The author Madison Smartt Bell's 16th work of fiction, a book of short stories called "Zig Zag Wanderer" is guaranteed to make the author absolutely no money whatsoever. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Not one blessed penny. And he wouldn't have it any other way. Bell's previous 13 novels and two short story collections have been released by mainstream publishers and have been finalists for such prizes as the PEN/Faulkner and National Book awards. He is best known for his trilogy about the Haitian slave uprising of 1791.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2013
For Baltimore author Jen Michalski, 2013 is shaping up to be the Year of the Book Party. In a nine-month period, the 41-year-old freelance medical copywriter is having three works of fiction in different genres come out with three small, independent publishers. In March, Dzanc Books combined Michalski's two haunting novellas about fragile lives and released them under the title, "Could You Be With Her Now?" while a short story collection, "From Here," comes out in November under the auspices of Aqueous Press.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2013
Rafael Trujillo collected bottle caps. Mao Zedong was wed to an older woman at age 14 but refused to consummate the marriage. Joseph Stalin was a choirboy who studied to be a Russian Orthodox priest. In "The Iron Bridge," Anton Piatigorsky used these real-life biographical snippets to write a short story collection that imagines six infamous dictators as still-impressionable teens. Adolf Hitler conducted an elaborate fantasy romance with a girl who probably didn't know he existed.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | April 6, 2013
Author George Saunders is having the kind of year that could lead the former roofer and slaughterhouse worker to imagine that someone is spritzing the air around him with a giant bottle of perfume. "The way things have been going recently, it's as if I had a personal sprayer walking behind me and making sure that the world always smells sweet," says the New York-based writer, who will visit Baltimore on April 13 to headline the 10th annual CityLit Festival. With the publication in January of his new book, "Tenth of December," Saunders, 54, a professor at Syracuse University, has been receiving the kind of attention seldom given to short-story writers - even those who, like him, received a 2006 MacArthur "genius" grant.
EXPLORE
February 11, 2013
The HCC Actors Guild will perform "The Pillowman" Feb. 22 and 23 and March 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 24 and March 3 at 3 p.m. at Harford Community College, Joppa Hall, Black Box Theatre. This dark comedy by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh tells the tale of Katurian, a fiction writer living in a police state who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of bizarre child murders occurring in his town. The play received two Tony Awards and the 2004 Olivier Award for Best New Play.
NEWS
By Joan Mooney | January 5, 1992
WILDERNESS TIPS.Margaret Atwood.Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.227 pages. $20. The new collection of short stories by the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood is a book for her fans and newcomers alike. The narratives are filled with complex emotion, often overlaid by a sense of loss.Ms. Atwood has a natural talent for presenting believable and sympathetic characters in a few pages. Her protagonists vary widely from story to story, but many are rebels past the first flush of rebellion. Most escaped an Anglo-Canadian background, often an era before feminism and the birth control pill that now seems like another world.
NEWS
By LAURA DEMANSKI and LAURA DEMANSKI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 18, 2006
Alentejo Blue Monica Ali Scribner / 240 pages / $24 Monica Ali's first novel, the widely chattered-about and widely prize-nominated Brick Lane, chronicled the experience of an emigrant plucked from her home country and dropped, to fend for herself, in an alien culture. In that case, the lost home was Bangladesh (Ali's birthplace) and the challenging new setting London. In Alentejo Blue, Ali's second novel, the emigrant experience is again central. But here the place is Portugal, most of the transplants are English, and - the most significant difference from Brick Lane - a whole spectrum of such experiences is explored.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 7, 2013
With a TV event as emotional and epic as the last game in Baltimore for Ray Lewis, it would be a mistake to micro-critique the telecast of the game itself by CBS Sports. I'll talk about the work of the Ravens' 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts by Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in this review. But the big story was the "last ride" in Baltimore for Lewis, and the performance of CBS Sports Sunday should first and last be judged by how it covered that story. In terms of preparation and understanding how big the story was, CBS Sports was absolutely on it coming into the game.
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