19 March, 2009

The Company I Keep

It’s an auspicious thing to be able to begin a blog with good news: my brilliant and amazingly warm, witty friend, Preeta Samarasan, who is notoriously uncomfortable with self-promotion, has just had her book, Evening Is The Whole Day long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction. This is in the wake of being short-listed for the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Novel. Here is the full list, which includes my idol, Toni Morrison, and two fellow Sri Lankans, Michelle de Kretser and V.V. Ganeshananthan, as well as another Bread Loafer, Samantha Hunt.

* Debra Adelaide – The Household Guide to Dying
* Gaynor Arnold – Girl in a Blue Dress
* Lissa Evans – Their Finest Hour and a Half
* Bernardine Evaristo – Blonde Roots
* Ellen Feldman – Scottsboro
* Laura Fish – Strange Music
* V.V. Ganeshananthan – Love Marriage
* Allegra Goodman – Intuition
* Samantha Harvey – The Wilderness
* Samantha Hunt – The Invention of Everything Else
* Michelle de Kretser – The Lost Dog
* Deirdre Madden – Molly Fox’s Birthday
* Toni Morrison – A Mercy
* Gina Ochsner – The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight
* Marilynne Robinson – Home
* Preeta Samarasan – Evening is the Whole Day
* Kamila Shamsie – Burnt Shadows
* Curtis Sittenfeld – American Wife
* Miriam Toews – The Flying Troutmans
* Ann Weisgarber – The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

Oh, and yesterday I got my Author Review Copies for A Disobedient Girl in the mail and celebrated with a sweet Martinis Yellow at Pod with One Story bombshell Rachel Cantor and Rachel Pastan, author of Lady of the Snakes, with whom I’ll be reading soon. That was after listening to Stuart Dybek at KellyWriters House reading one of my favorite stories from his collection, “We Didn’t,” which, he told us, was a response to Yehuda Amichai’s poem “We Did It.” Amichai is one of my favorite poets and I had just read that poem again a week or so ago. It was a 60 degree day in the City of Brotherly Love, and I got a perfect parking spot. Life is good.

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The Books:

The Books:

On Sal Mal Lane

In the tradition of In the Time of the Butterflies and The Kite Runner, a tender, evocative novel about the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war.

A Disobedient Girl

A Disobedient Girl is a compelling map of womanhood, its desires and loyalties, set against the backdrop of beautiful, politically turbulent, Sri Lanka.