Best New American Voices 2009

bnavI was going to say that we’re not crazy about writing programs, but it occurred to me that the editorial we might not apply here as Ed, Norm, and the Non-Blogger may, in fact be head over heels besotted with writing programs, although I hope not. And I must say that my encounter with Alan Drew at Books By The Banks (should we call that “Books By The Banks!” ? That exclamation point was thought by mid-century ad-men to work Americans into a buying frenzy. And who can forget Hamilton! Ohio and its cheery hopes?) chipped away a little at my frozen reserve for the Iowa Writers Workshop which I think must take responsibility for way too many of what Gore Vidal used to call book-chat books. Alan’s book Gardens of Water has an actual plot and real characters and is excellent, so maybe there’s hope for Iowa. At any rate, I’m going to have a go at a new arrival on the ML shelf, Best New American Voices 2009, to see if there are any more Alan Drews out there. Mary Gaitskill, who read and spoke here a couple of years ago, is the guest editor, and I liked her even though she was nearly as humorless as Joyce Carol Oates. And the first story is by someone who, instead of enrolling at one of the usual creative writing diploma mills, went to the Art Institute of Chicago. So that’s encouraging. I’ll let you know.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on November 24, 2008 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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