Friday Lit News Roundup

First we want to send a huge Thank You to everyone who made the Astoria to Zion launch parties possible. The Center for Fiction and Doyle’s Cafe were gracious hosts, our readers were entertaining and enthralling, and we couldn’t have asked for better attendees.


image via LilyandVal

While we were busy in Boston and New York, Astoria to Zion authors and Ecotone contributors were also busy. And we’ve got some interesting lit news lined up for you so keep reading!

Rebecca Makkai had us rolling with her Ploughshares piece “Writers You Want to Punch in the Face(book).” I think we all know someone like Todd Manley-Krauss.

Benjamin Percy and Daniel Levine chat about Levine’s new book Hyde, martial arts, sleeve tattoos, and college memories. Don’t skip this Brooklyn Rail Q&A between two old friends.

Would switching to Garamond save the government millions? Some think it might just be too good to be true.

Even though college basketball championships are over with, Powell’s bookstore is keeping Poetry Madness going strong. Since last year’s bracket was dominated by women, this year features only female poets. Round 1 is already closed, but get your vote in for Round 2! #readwomen2014

Watch Douglas Watson’s promo video for his new novel A Moody Fellow Finds Love and then Dies.

The Atlantic also has a belated, but interesting, AWP summary.

Speaking of amazing women writers, it’s hard to go a day without hearing about Maggie Shipstead. Here’s just a few outlets where people are praising her new novel Astonish Me.

The Brooklyn Eagle says the novel is “gorgeously written.”

Bustle talks with Maggie about Astonish Me, ballet, and “Girls.”

Joan Didion reviews Astonish Me for Electric Literature’s blog The Outlet. She writes: “This is a keepsake about motion and longing. This is the imminent agony of a nail underfoot. This is a story about dreams being realized by the dreamer’s runner up. This is the leaden taste of disappointment, the muscle memory ache of not good enough.”

NPR writes of the novel: “It is full of the kind of prose you want to curl up and nest in like a cat: seamless and full of small elegances.”

And don’t miss The Atlantic’s ByHeart series, in which Maggie writes about Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and “explores the way novels—and writers themselves—manage time.”

Whew! That’s a lot for one week, but great news makes us happy. Do you know what else puts a smile on our face? It’s Friday. Go enjoy your weekend!