Apr 11, 2012
What is the American Literary Canon, how can it be measured, and has it changed in the last 60+ years? Why and how to read William Faulkner and which of his books we're planning on starting with. Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton is out in paperback now, and Jim Lynch, author of Border Songs, is out with a new book, Truth Like the Sun.
Booktopia Swag: We now have three official Booktopia Souvenir items ready for purchase! (Click the name of any item to be taken to the page for purchasing) The Living in Booktopia book, which is being printed on Northshire Espresso Book Machine, is finished and came out wonderfully! Thanks to everyone who contributed their vision of Booktopia. NOTE: even if you are attending Booktopia in Manchester, and plan to buy the book then, we urge you to pre-order it and indicate that it should be held for pickup. We want to make sure we have enough! Also available: official Booktopia T-Shirts and Tote Bags, via our Zazzle Store.
A recent blog post about the evolution of the American Literary Canon got Ann and I talking about exactly how you can go about measuring an author's popularity in academic circles. The author of this post ranked authors by the number of scholarly papers written about them, which places Henry James in the top spot, followed closely by William Faulkner and T.S. Eliot. What are your thoughts on this list and the author's methodology for ranking?
BOTNS listener Hope posted, on Facebook, a link to an article called How to Read William Faulkner. In it, the author explains how Faulkner wrote, what he expected of his readers, and why, for him, character development took precedence over plot. It's an extremely engaging article and one that got Ann and me excited to read (or re-read) Faulkner in time for Booktopia Oxford. We both, independently, decided to start with As I Lay Dying, but we're encouraging everyone attending or anyone who wants to take part, to read any Faulkner that interests them. Discussions will occur on our Goodreads Group and, of course, in Oxford!
For more information on the Faulkners of Mississippi, check out Every Day by the Sun, a memoir by William Faulkner's niece Dean Faulkner Wells.
Blood, Bones and Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton is a book I loved last year. It's out in paperback now - with a new chapter bringing the story up to date - and was just named Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year in the Indies Choice Awards. Ann has been a fan of Jim Lynch's previous books, and his new novel, Truth Like the Sun is no exception. Set in Seattle, the story takes place both in 1962, during the World's Fair, and in 2001, when a young reporter decides to get to the truth behind Roger Morgan, current mayoral candidate, and the man responsible for bringing the fair to town forty years earlier.