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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

19

So Many New Books That We Can Be Like "It's On My List" About in 2014

From The Millions, here is a preview of 89 extremely exciting books coming out this year. New Lorrie Moore! New Yiyun Li! New Karen Russell and Rivka Galchen and Roxane Gay! (Also excited for new Joshua Ferris and new Edward St. Aubyn and the hopefully-questionable premise of this MFA vs NYC business, although in honor of David Gilmour and of course misandry, I have considered making 2014 a year that I only read books written by women.)

Isn't it great, this anticipatory bliss-period, where all of the delicious, thick-ass, highly physical reading you would like to do is the thing hoped for, and the reality of probably reading blogs too much is still the thing not seen?



19 Comments / Post A Comment

Lucienne

I have already precluded the possibility of only reading women in 2014 (outside of my grad school reading).

To have failed so early in the year . . .!

cuminafterall

@Lucienne Me too, having read A Study in Scarlet on 1/3 to see what all this Sherlock Holmes fuss is about.

However, I am actually pretty excited for Chang-Rae Lee's On Such a Full Sea, so I'm glad not to have to wait for 2015 for that!

Lucienne

@cuminafterall I am really looking forward to Boy, Snow, Bird!

Two books by dudes I've read so far: Child 44 and The Good Soldier.

j-i-a

@cuminafterall ohhh i'm excited for that too. i heard it is bleak as shittt

Jill_Tata

Just so good.@k

PomoFrannyGlass

I can't read any anti-MFA arguments without falling into a rage blackout, but I am curious to see how MFA vs. NYC will address MFA programs IN NYC.

j-i-a

@PomoFrannyGlass yeah, me too!

rosencrantz

@PomoFrannyGlass I'm really curious about why anti-MFA arguments get you into a rage!

I'm weirdly curious about the book, though -- there's not really *that* much of a gap between MFA programs and NYC publishing (says someone who works in non-NYC publishing). It's not like seeing "and attended MFA program X" is an uncommon thing in an author bio. Plus, like you said -- MFA programs *in* NYC...

PomoFrannyGlass

@PomoFrannyGlass @rosencrantz oh mostly because I have an MFA (from a program in NYC...where I have also worked in trade publishing, though I currently do not) -- but the arguments I've seen saying MFA programs shouldn't exist at all bug me because it feels like a very privileged POV. This would probably make more sense if I had the time/patience to dig up some links to anti-MFA essays, but here are my responses to those I've read:
1. It is almost impossible to make an actual living, let alone support a family, for most writers of fiction, and MFA programs at the very least provide places where writers can both engage with their "craft" (ugh sorry) and still get paid properly as teachers.
2. I don't buy the arguments that they're somehow "bad" for literature in the first place, or bad for the students who attend them but these programs don't exist to make the world better. We live in a country where as long as there is a market for something, someone is going to sell it. There's clearly a market for MFA degrees and universities are selling them; and I guess I don't see how that impacts the writers who have been fortunate enough to find success without having been students or teachers in such programs (who tend to be the most outspoken and often vitriolic critics of them).
3. This is a relatively new point in my anti-anti-MFA argument, and likely biased by my current professional circumstances, but I think understanding how to tell a story, and how a well-told story affects its audience, is valuable in jobs outside writing and publishing. Advertising and brand strategy, sure, but also advocating for anything--yourself, others, policy, change, etc.

I do think Harbach is in a good position to tease this stuff out, though, since he has an MFA and his novel is one of the more interesting "road to publication" stories of the past few years.

PomoFrannyGlass

@PomoFrannyGlass I should add that I don't think an MFA is necessary to be a good writer or get published. It's just one way to go. I think different paths work for different people.

stonefruit

I think I'm still the only person who just doesn't particularly like Lorrie Moore's writing.

sony_b

@stonefruit No, you're not.

Lucienne

I'm joining this line.

BethroTull

@Lucienne Well there are at least four of us.

Azaz the Unabridged

@stonefruit You don't know how happy this makes me

mmmcheese

Rivka Galchen, I've been waiting so long! Also, Jia, if you're reading this: I read Dare Me by Megan Abbott, from your Halloween book guide and LOVED IT! I've already read one book on her recommendation and ordered another, plus The End of Everything by Abbott and I can't wait to read every other book she writes/recommends!

j-i-a

@mmmcheese ooohh--what book did you read on her rec?

mmmcheese

@j-i-a Well, I've been making my way down this list: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/27/book-bag-megan-abbott-s-five-dangerous-mentors.html

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was excellent, and Daughters of Eve just arrived in the mail. I'm hoping to contains misandry!

mmmcheese

Well, I've been making my way down this list: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/27/book-bag-megan-abbott-s-five-dangerous-mentors.html

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was excellent, and Daughters of Eve just arrived in the mail. I'm hoping to contains misandry!

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