A rolling stone gathers no moss, and neither does the writer Madison Smartt Bell. The author of 20 novels, including All Souls’ Rising (which was a finalist in 1995 for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award and winner of the 1996 Anisfeld-Wolf award for best book of the year addressing race), Bell is as prolific as he is unpredictable, and 2013-14 is no exception. In the spring, Bell’s novel Behind the Moon will be released by upstart publisher Dymaxicon, and this month, Concord Free Press will release Zig-Zag Wanderer, two decades of stories set in the United States, Haiti, and beyond, under an innovative publishing paradigm. This limited-edition collection will be given away for free (yes, you read that correctly). Jen Michalski, host of Starts Here! (the new Ivy Bookshop reading series held at Artifact Coffee), interviewed Madison Smartt Bell about the crazy rhythms that run through his work.– Bell reads at the Ivy, Wednesday, December 11th at 7 p.m.–visit the store’s website for more information. Read More →
Justin Kramon is as unpredictable as he is sweet. In his debut novel, Finny, a tender coming-of-age story, Kramon showed great sensitivity in portraying female characters, particularly the title character, Finny, a fiery young redhead from Baltimore. So why did Kramon decide to make his follow-up novel, The Preservationist, a thriller? Jen Michalski, host of Starts Here! (the new Ivy Bookshop reading series held at Artifact Coffee), interviewed Kramon about the surprising evils that lurk in the hearts of his characters. Look for her new Prologue lit column monthly at Baltimore Fishbowl. And take note: Kramon reads at the Ivy, Tuesday, October 22 at 7 p.m.–visit the store’s website for more information.
Jen Michalski: In both your novels, Finny and now The Preservationist, there’s a strong female protagonist and an equally strong and engaging coming-of-age story. The twist in The Preservationist, however, is the introduction of a serial killer. As someone who I consider one of the most sensitive writers on the planet, where did *that* come from?
Justin Kramon: Thanks for the kind words about the novel. In kindergarten, the teacher once told me I was “sensitive,” and I got very upset. I think I cried, thereby proving her theory. I don’t cry anymore when people call me sensitive, but I do occasionally wet myself. Read More →
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