Yearly Archives: 2015

USA NOIR: Best of the Akashic Noir Series is out today!

My story, “Crazy for you,” along with those of T. Jefferson Parker, Susan Straight, Laura Lippman, George Pelicanos, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Joyce Carol Oates, and more, is in it. Page 155, if I’m not mistaken. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and said, “Readers will be hard put to find a better collection of short stories in any genre.” I love it!

We have a Pen on Fire Speaker Series event scheduled for Nov. 19 at Scape Gallery in Corona del Mar. (Click on the tab at top: Speaker Series, for more info on the event and how to register. The first 10 to register will get a free book.)

If you can’t make it, you can still order the book from all sorts of online sellers. You can also ask your local bookstore to order it. Order from Akashic’s website, or for ultimate ease, click below.

Two awards for writers

Call for Submissions: William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Entry Deadline: January 31, 2014

Nominations are now being accepted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Two prizes of $5,000 each are given biennially for works of fiction and nonfiction. Cosponsored by the Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, the awards are intended to “encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan legacy of originality, vitality, and stylistic innovation.”

For more information — including entry forms, contest rules, complete guidelines, and press materials —visit the website at

Thank you for helping us spread the word!

Best regards,
(Ms.) Sam Petersen, for Stanford University Libraries
Tel: 650.854.5575; Email:


We are now accepting the applications for the 2014-15 Class of John S. Knight Journalism Fellows at Stanford University. The program brings together eight international and 12 U.S. journalists and journalism entrepreneurs who spend their year developing their ideas around challenges and opportunities for journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Information on how to apply can be found here

Please share this link with your friends, colleagues or anyone you think might be interested and a worthy candidate.

The deadline for international applications is Dec. 1, 2013; for U.S. applications, it is Jan. 15, 2014.

Find our tweets here: @JSKStanford and look for #JSKnet on Twitter for updates.


Robin Evans,
Outreach & Marketing Manager
John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships
Stanford University

(Harsh) review of Don DeLillo’s Underworld

UnderworldUnderworld by Don DeLillo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh, where to begin with this book? First, let me say that I LOVED DeLillo’s White Noise and am such a fan of his writing. There are few better writers. He’s right up there at the top. But this book, oh, this book. I saw him read from it in L.A. at a Lannan Foundation lecture when the Lannan Foundation was still in L.A. I bought a hard cover then. And I started reading. I made it to page 400 and almost was crushed under its weight. But I always wanted to finish.

So I got it on Audible last spring. Love the reader. Same reader as for a bunch of Richard Ford’s books. LOVE the reader. But this time I’m not going to make it as far as page 400. I’m on the page where a character is asking another character if he knows what hospitals do with all the legs and arms they cut off of people, and that’s it. That’s it!

The book is too long. What I want to read about are Nick and Clara, and this story line is hardly in the book. I wish all the other story lines would go away and just focus on Nick and Clara. They would be enough.

I feel like DeLillo is constantly bursting with ideas and thoughts and theories and he had to pour them all into this book. He’s brilliant–of course he is, but enough already.

Once again, I will put the book aside. I love his writing and his use of metaphor and simile–we could all take a lesson here–but the story is a stew, a ratatouille, a casserole comprised of too many ingredients.

The end.

View all my reviews