Friday Lit News Roundup

Fair warning: shameless self-promotion ahead for our two Astoria to Zion launch events in NYC and Boston next week. You won’t want to miss these!


We’ll be at the Center for Fiction in New York on April 7 at 7 p.m., with contributors David Means, Maggie Shipstead, and Douglas Watson, who will read from their terrific stories in the anthology.

The post-reading Q&A will focus on how technology affects writing and literature—and the short story in particular. How important is the concept of place in an age when our physical location is largely irrelevant as long as we’re within cord’s length of a power source and range of Wi-Fi? Are digital resources essential to conduct and organize research? How do Twitter and Facebook influence our thinking and writing processes?

A signing and wine reception will follow. Please come out and meet the Ecotone/Lookout staff, including publisher Emily Louise Smith, editor Anna Lena Phillips, and associate editor Beth Staples.

More details on the Facebook event page.


And on Tuesday, April 8 at 8 p.m., we’ll gather at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain. Featured storytellers, including award-winning writers Steve Almond, Bill Roorbach, and Matthew Neill Null, will join editors and readers to listen, laugh, discuss, eat, drink, and trade tales of risk and abandon. Ask the best question, and win a free copy of Astoria to Zion. A signing will follow.

More details can be found here.

We hope to see you there!


And we also hope that these bookshelves can be ours one day!



Gaby Wood of the Telegraph (UK) says the e-book revolution hasn’t even begun, adding that publishers tend to think of digital books and printed books as different versions of the same thing. “If they really saw the possibilities of the ebook and the virtues of the printed book for what they are, publishers would know the two forms are only very vaguely related … Publishers have got to stop thinking of their digital products as ‘books,’ and start imagining more expansive ways of communicating information.”

Entertainment Weekly calls Kevin Brockmeier’s memoir, A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip, a “funny, poignant oddity.”

River Bend Chronicle author Ben Miller travels to North Carolina this weekend for the premiere of the collaborative project Cage Dies Bird Flies at the Black Mountain {Re} Happening Festival. Miller worked with artist Dale Williams to create eighty-five, large-scale black and white paintings inspired by his few-word stories.

The Huffington Post is talking about Maggie Shipstead’s new novel, Astonish Me, which comes out next Tuesday, saying that “the conflicts between characters both major and minor are resolved neatly and cathartically, making for an enjoyable meditation not only on ballet, but on desire, ambition, and love.” Come out to hear her on Monday at the Center for Fiction, and help celebrate her publication week!

Please come out to see us in New York or Boston next week, and until then, find a quiet spot to read in the sunshine. May we recommend Astoria to Zion?