Barbara’s story, “Crazy for You,” that was published in 2010 in Orange County Noir is included in USA Noir: Best of Akashic’s Noir Series, to be released in November. The new anthology includes short stories by some of the greats in the suspense field: T. Jefferson Parker, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, and more. Details and purchase information ».
Watch a video trailer for USA Noir:
Latest entries from the Pen on Fire blog:
Novelist Jodi Picoult, author of The Storyteller, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about her new book, and Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing, talks with Marrie Stone about her new memoir/writing book.
(Broadcast date: November 20, 2013.)
In the first half hour, songwriter Alex Forbes, author of Write Songs Write Now talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, and in the second half, novelists Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack, co-authors of Freud’s Mistress, talk with Nicole Nelson.
(Broadcast date: November 13, 2013)
Publishers Weekly published a short piece by Pulitzer prize winner Paul Harding–his advice to writers. It’s a very short piece but packed with great advice. I like what he says about telling the truth through fiction, and so much more.
Fiction writers Robert Olen Butler and Russell Banks talk with guest host Marrie Stone about writing fiction, what becomes short stories and what becomes novels, and where it all comes from.
(Broadcast date: Nov 6, 2013)
Short story writer Aimee Bender and novelist Jacob M. Appel talk with guest host Nicole Nelson about the art and business of writing short stories and novels.
(Broadcast date: Oct. 30, 2013)
“For me, a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. There are not many such books.” – Vladimir Nabokov, in “On a Book Entitled Lolita,” 11/12/56
When I mentioned that I was reading Lolita to a few friends and colleagues, they mostly gave me shuddered responses. The subject matter, of course, is dicey: Who wants to read about a pedophile? Especially those of us who have had close contact with pedophiles, it’s not a world we want to revisit.
Yet, Lolita is an iconic novel that sat on my shelf, one I never read, but thought I should read. I’d seen the movie years ago, but it had faded into the distant aisles of memory, with only images of its stars (Shelly Winters, James Mason, I think) hanging in front of the drawn curtains behind which stacked details from the film I could no longer remember.
Between novels, I’d pick up Lolita and give it a try, but pretty quickly it resumed its place on the shelf. And then last weekend I read an interview with Donna Tartt, whose new novel, The Goldfinch, just came out, in which she said, “My favourite book? Lolita. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll probably say something else.”
Done deal. I had to read Lolita. I ordered The Goldfinch and while I waited for it to arrive, I committed myself to Lolita. As I read my 1989 copy, the Vanity Fair quote on the cover–”The only convincing love story of our century.”–dangled about. I’d never thought of the novel as a love story, certainly no one had ever said as much, but it was, it certainly was.
The writing is perhaps the most gorgeous writing of any novel I’ve ever read. It’s not my favorite novel, but the writing is among the best, ever. Every writer in every genre should read Lolita, if for no other reason than to study from a master.
I’m excitedly onto The Goldfinch, now, and Lolita will resume its place on the shelf. I’ll no doubt be an evangelist for a time. Forgive me. That’s how it is when you read a book you know you’ll never forget.