Lucia Perillo Shortlisted for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize

July 12, 2013

Lucia Perillo's Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain (Norton, 2012) is on the shortlist for the 2013 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.

This prize is awarded to " author whose debut work—a first novel or coll...ection of short stories published in 2012—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise."

Congratulations, Lucia!


Posted by waleslit on July 12, 2013  |  Permalink

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Dan Savage on the Daily Show

June 19, 2013

Courtesy of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a skit starring Dan Savage, Rachel Maddow, George Takei, and Alan Cumming:


Posted by waleslit on June 19, 2013  |  Permalink

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Advance Praise for Badluck Way by Bryce Andrews

May 13, 2013

Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West by Bryce Andrews (Atria Books, December 3, 2013) tells an archetypal American story: a young man leaves the city behind for life as a cowboy. But Bryce already knows his way around cattle; the ranch he now manages focuses on ecological conservation as well as conservation of a rare breed of cattle; and his story is not about a triumph over nature, but coming face to face with it when a pack of wolves start killing members of the herd he is responsible for. This debut has netted some wonderful advance praise:


“This book will make you have deep thoughts about our relationships with the land, nature, and animals.”

Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human

“In Badluck Way, cattlehand and writer Bryce Andrews takes us on a fascinating ride through one of the most beautiful landscapes and thorniest issues of today’s American West – how can the newly reintroduced wolf and traditional cattle ranching coexist?  Badluck Way is by turns an adventure story of a young man on a sprawling Montana ranch, a thoughtful reflection on the ranching life, and a visceral exploration of the cruel amorality of the natural world.  Beautifully written, Andrews’s book delivers a powerful emotional punch.”
           —Peter Stark, author of The Last Empty Places

This memoir of life as a contemporary, ecologically minded Montana cowboy is heartfelt. Andrews' language often sings.  Told in a refined version of a campfire ghost story, his narrative took my breath away.

           —Jana Harris, author of Horses Never Lie about Love

“An important meditation on what it means to share space and breathe the same air as truly wild animals.”

           —Tom Groneberg, author of The Secret Life of Cowboys

“Exquisitely written and unflinchingly honest, this haunting memoir about one man’s complex relationship with wolves and the wild will stay with you long after you finish it, oh so reluctantly.”

           —Patricia McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash

“In this unforgettable memoir, Bryce Andrews conjures the modern West with all its grit and conflict. At core lies the old grudge between livestock protection and predator control. This fine memoir contains meticulous details of onerous ranch work--the unexpected violence of herding cows, the backbreak labor of building fence. Haunting and lyrical, this marvelous work belongs on everyone's bookshelf alongside other Western Classics.”

           —Craig Lesley, author of Winterkill and The Sky Fisherman

“One could find no better guide than Bryce Andrews for a journey along the shifting border between the wild and the tame; a daunting frontier filled with unsettling truths, blood and beauty. His wonderfully crafted prose is lean, yet rich in the telling details of seasons spent on a Montana ranch overseeing a shaky co-existence between cattle and wolves. Andrews is a keen-eyed ecologist, a skilled ranch hand and, best of all, a self-examining student of life with a young man’s inclination to push past fear and caution toward an embrace of risky, life-altering experience. In Badluck Way, Andrews shuns both cowboy romanticism and environmentalist sermonizing and illuminates the inescapable conflict between human economic imperatives and the compulsions of animal instinct. His book is a gripping tale of the West, raw and real.”

           —David Horsey, columnist and cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times

"Bryce Andrews’s Badluck Way is a powerful invocation of place and landscape narrated in a voice energetic, earnest, and wise. Year-round ranch work--tough, physical, and weathered--combined with a hard-earned regard and affection for animals--both livestock and wild creatures--thread together to renew our faith in the power of place, the value of work, and the ever-present need to interrogate our own lives and livelihoods."
           —Phil Condon, author of Montana Surround and Nine Ten Again

Badluck Way addresses clearly, concisely, and eloquently a year when individual belief, faith, and philosophy are tested and tempered daily by the physical, communal, and political. On Montana’s Sun Ranch, a wild and majestic intersection of grass, granite, and ice, wolves, elk, livestock, and humans coalesce to shape in sharp relief the vital and contentious issues facing our region and society. Andrews offers a remarkably rounded, informed, and yes, wise, perspective. Badluck Way is a powerful testament from a new writer with much to share.”
           —Robert Stubblefield, the University of Montana



Posted by waleslit on May 13, 2013  |  Permalink

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Dan Savage's American Savage a Top 10 PW Pick!

April 22, 2013

Publishers Weekly's Best Summer Books list for 2013 is out, and American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics by Dan Savage (Dutton, May 28, 2013) is on the list. PW also did a cool short interview with Dan. Here's a quick clip:

You serve up seriously unconventional advice in this book, including tips on marital infidelity!

It’s going to happen, so why not do it right? I’m not condoning serial adulterers who are abusing their partners or putting them at risk. But there are times when cheating can save a marriage—for example, when one spouse is seriously disabled and the other, to stay sane, gets his or her needs met elsewhere, discreetly. Or maybe it’s a terrific marriage except for very divergent needs for sex. It overemphasizes the importance of sex to say that, if a marriage is working in every area but sex, a spouse must divorce first and cheat second. There are times when people should cheat first and divorce not at all.

Your own same-sex marriage seems almost a model of wholesomeness. Is there a tension between the radical sex-advice columnist and your inner Ward Cleaver?

People who consider me the enemy of all things good and decent would be appalled at how Ozzie and Harriet it is around our house. People come over expecting a sling over our dining room table and a goat under it, and they’re just flummoxed: Terry and I are in bed at 9:30 p.m. most nights and sometimes we can’t make it through The Daily Show. But there are also times when we go to the International Mr. Leather contest in Chicago and tear it up. Being parents should not preclude taking a walk on the wild side every once in a while.

Posted by waleslit on April 22, 2013  |  Permalink

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Lucia Perillo Awarded 2013 Shelley Memorial Award

April 17, 2013

The Poetry Society of America picked Lucia Perillo for their 2013 Shelley Memorial Award, which is "...presented annually to a living American poet selected with reference to his or her genius..." She shares the honor with Martin Espada.

A concise but excellent write-up of Lucia's artistic accomplishments is up on the Poetry Society's website, accessible here.

Congratulations, Lucia!

Posted by waleslit on April 17, 2013  |  Permalink

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"That Smell," an essay by Lucia Perillo

March 20, 2013

In celebration of Lucia Perillo's 2013 Pacific Northwest Book Award, NW Book Lovers shares her essay "That Smell."

 Here is a quick taste:


It’s unlikely that I ever visited a bookstore as a kid. My parents were too molded by that great trauma of their youths, the depression, to buy four children’s- worth of books. Especially not when we had a perfectly good public library.

Though I will get around to bookstores, I want to talk first about this library because of the sensual beauty of it. Set in an old building on top of the police station, you accessed it by climbing almost a full flight of stone steps, which there were wide stone banisters on both sides of, wide enough for a child to sit on, though the stone was not slippery. You had to use your feet to creep downhill.

All the details flood me now, with such clarity! More steps inside the building, turn right you could pay the bill for your garbage pick-up or your property tax, turn left and you stepped into the library with its creaky wooden floor.

The complete essay is available on the NW Book Lovers site.

Posted by waleslit on March 20, 2013  |  Permalink

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Starred PW Review for Dan Savage's American Savage

March 15, 2013

Rave starred review for forthcoming American Savage: Insight, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics by Dan Savage (Dutton/Penguin, May 28, 2013) in today's Publishers Weekly:


America’s most in-your-face sex columnist and gay-rights activist comes out swinging in these pugnacious, hilarious essays.. Savage (Savage Love) proffers more unvarnished and often sacrilegious bedroom and relationship advice, recommending, for example, that spouses try each other’s kinks on for size and, if sexual incompatibility proves insurmountable in an otherwise satisfying marriage, that they consider a little nookie on the side. He reserves his most pointed sex tips for detractors and ideological opponents, suggesting a number of lewd acts they could perform to cope with their upset over his forthright advocacy of marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.  (He widens his brief to include cogent soap-boxing on behalf of single-payer national health insurance, gun control, and physician-assisted suicide.) Savage is that rarity, a liberal—verging on radical—who defends his positions with steel-trap logic and scornful humor laced with profanity and stripped of politically correct cant. But in his own way he’s a champion of “family values,” which emerge in warm domestic scenes with his husband and son, in moving reflections on his mother’s death, and in his common-sense understanding of sexual fulfillment as an anchor for stable relationships. Underneath Savage’s scabrous, bomb-throwing exterior beats the heart of a softie.

Posted by waleslit on March 15, 2013  |  Permalink

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Leela Corman is a 2012 L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist

February 22, 2013

The 2012 LA Times Book Prize committee picked Leela Corman as a finalist for her graphic novel, Unterzakhn (Schocken/Pantheon, 2012).

Congratulations, Leela!

Winners in each category will be announced on April 19. The LA Times has a feature about this  year's finalists here.

Posted by waleslit on February 22, 2013  |  Permalink

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Bill Streever Names the 5 Hottest Places in America

January 25, 2013

For people who think 90F is mild, Bill Streever put together a list of five of the hottest (and sometimes dangerous) sightseeing opportunities and activities, in the U.S.

#5 is the Brookhaven, NY Super Collider:

Scientists have found a way to create and measure temperatures present within moments of the Big Bang. How? By accelerating ions of gold and lead to close to the speed of light and then guiding those ions into a head-on collision. In 2012, the Brookhaven National Laboratory, an hour or so by train from New York City, achieved temperatures of 7 trillion degrees. This is far from the hottest temperatures of the Big Bang, which exceeded 1032 degrees (that would be a 1 followed by 32 zeros), but it is hot enough to end the lives of protons and neutrons, reducing matter to a quark-gluon soup with characteristics that surprised the best and brightest theoretical physicists. And now the collider near Geneva, Switzerland, often known as the CERN Collider (after the initials of the particle physics research organization behind the collider), may have exceeded that record. Visitors are not normally allowed into the collider tunnels, but both facilities offer tours and explanations of what they are doing. For thermophiles with a streak of geek, a collider visit should not be missed.

For the other four, check out Publishers Weekly.

Posted by waleslit on January 25, 2013  |  Permalink

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The Daily Beast Names Heat, by Bill Streever, a Hot Read

January 16, 2013

Heat: Adventures in the World's Fiery Places by Bill Streever (Little, Brown, Jan 2013) is one of this week's hot reads, according to The Daily Beast:

Bill Streever has now covered the full spectrum. As he did with his previous book, Cold, Heat reminds us that our survival depends on maintaining ourselves within a very narrow range of temperature, but Streever has gone ahead and surveyed the extremes, up to 7 trillion degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever created in a laboratory, using supercolliders that recreate the heat just after the Big Bang. Heat changes things from one state to another, and to better understand the transformations of matter—or of the soul—Streever, following in the footsteps of the old-timer naturalists who came before him, goes on a personal journey to experience all types of heat. Just a six-degree change in our core temperature can give us heatstroke and kill us, and Streever tries to avoid that fate as he walks across Death Valley. He goes to the Kilauea shield volcano in search of molten rock, and gets to stick a hammer into lava, although in between flows the tip of his walking stick bursts into flame and he can’t stop walking lest his boots—and he along with them—melt. He gives passing mentions to physicists such as Antoine Lavoisier, whose theory of heat as liquid was wrong, but inexplicably leaves off every giant of thermodynamics such as Lord Kelvin, James Prescott Joule, Rudolph Clausius, and Sadi Carnot. Barefoot, he walks on burning coals, and learns that “in firewalking as in life, your mind has to be in a certain place.” But those temperatures don’t compare with those of the supercollider, which generates controlled heat hotter than the center of a supernova.  In such extreme conditions scientists study quarks, the building blocks of matter. Perhaps no amount of heat can reduce quarks into smaller pieces, and quarks are the end of the road. Then again, maybe not.

More of this week's hot reads can be found here.

Posted by waleslit on January 16, 2013  |  Permalink

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