All posts tagged: writing

An exploration of the memoir that was the catalyst to Donald Antrim’s ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL, a writing workshop, prompt, exercise and more.

By Leslie Lindsay A tender and often darkly funny portrait of a family ravaged by alcoholism, death, and more, THE AFTERLIFE is about a writer discovering his origins and his future. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY SPOTLIGHT, WORKSHOP, PROMPTS: The Afterlife by Donald Antrim Donald Antrim is an American novelist. His first novel, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, was published in 1993. In 1999, The New Yorker named him as among the 20 best writers under the age of 40. In 2013, he was named a MacArthur Fellow. His most recent book, a memoir, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL (October 12, 2021, from W.W. Norton & Co.) is profound, thought-provoking, and infused with clear-eyed examination of one’s life, but the bigger issue at hand: the human condition, sigma. ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE: Last week, I featured Donald Antrim’s most recent memoir, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL: A Story of Suicide and Survival (W.W. Norton, 2021). Link to read that Q&A HERE. ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL struck me in so many ways, maybe it was because …

Memoir Monday: Donald Antrim on his new book, one most difficult to write, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL, how he views suicide as an illness, not an act, a battle with a long-term disease, how literature often misrepresents what its like to live through suicide, more

By Leslie Lindsay A timely and topical call to action, a plea, about the changing nature of suicide, told from someone who has been ‘on the brink’ and back, ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL is a tender, emotional, raw, exploration of what the author posits a ‘social problem.’ ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Leslie Lindsay & Donald Antrim in conversation Donald Antrim is an American novelist. His first novel, Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, was published in 1993. In 1999, The New Yorker named him as among the 20 best writers under the age of 40. In 2013, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.  ABOUT ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL: I cannot love this book any more. ONE FRIDAY IN APRIL (October 12, 2021, from W.W. Norton & Co.) isprofound, thought-provoking, and infused with clear-eyed examination of one’s life, but the bigger issue at hand: the human condition, sigma. Through a raw and harrowing–yet beautiful–account of the author’s suicide attempt, we are led right onto the fire escape where he vacillated on the decision to …

GHOST WEEK: Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A GHOST IN THE THROAT is a tremendously dark and varied and authentically raw exploration of contemporary motherhood married with archaic morals, plus a writing prompt, more

By Leslie Lindsay ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ GHOST WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Featured Spotlight: A GHOST IN THE THROAT by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a poet and essayist. In addition to A Ghost in the Throaf, she is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the Ostana Prize, a Seamus Heaney Fellowshop, ad the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. ABOUT A GHOST IN THE THROAT: “When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries.” So writes Doireann Ní Ghríofa in A GHOST IN THE THROAT, a “…female text, a chat, a keen, a lament, and an echo,” and I love everything about it. On discovering her murdered husband’s body, an eighteenth-century Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament. Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill’s poem travels through the centuries, finding its way to a new mother who narrowly avoided her own …

GHOST WEEK: Is writing about family a kindness or intrusion? Kat Chow’s SEEING GHOSTS: A Memoir about her mother, race, culture, immigration, more, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay “[…]The archaeologists of memory, unearthing places we have wavered in going. Like all books that haunt us long after reading, SEEING GHOSTS is a courageous act of excavation and salvage.” –Ocean Vuong, New York Times bestselling author of ON EARTH WE ARE BRIEFLY BEAUTIFUL ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ GHOST WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Featured Spotlight: SEEING GHOSTS: A Memoir Kat Chow is a writer and journalist, a former NPR reporter, and the founding member of the Code Switch team. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and on RadioLab, among others. She is one of Pop Culture Happy Hour’s fourth chairs. She received residency fellowships from the Millay Colony and the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She lives near Washington, D.C. SEEING GHOSTS (Grand Central Publishing, August 24 2021) is her highly anticipated first book. ABOUT SEEING GHOSTS: A powerful and haunting portrait of grief told through the prism of three generations of Kat Chow’s family. Always unusually fixated on death, Kat worried constantly about her …

WITCHES WEEK: Ariel Gore’s WE WERE WITCHES, exploring fabulous feminist fiction, poetry, witches, motherhood, and so much more, plus a writing prompt

By Leslie Lindsay A sublime genre-bending tale of teen mom Ariel Gore caught betwixt the 1990s family values or home and family, along with the hopes of redeeming herself through education, WE WERE WITCHES casts a spell like no other. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ WITCHES WEEK ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Featured Spotlight: WE WERE WITCHES by Ariel Gore Ariel Gore is the founding editor & publisher of the Alternative Press Award-winning magazine Hip Mama and the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction. I was alerted to this book after reading and attending an online class with Laraine Herring. Her book, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS: A Speculative Memoir was featured earlier this month. ABOUT WE WERE WITCHES: We Were Witches is a 2017 novel by Ariel Gore. It is a first-person narrative of a fictionalized version of the author, of her life as a teen mom and budding feminist, from the birth of her daughter when she was 18 years old, to her graduation from Mills College. This book is a little different than most, and perhaps a misnomer. …

Is a ghost a commitment? What do we inherit? Laraine Herring talks about her new memoir, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS, speculative work, epigenetics, ravens, and more

By Leslie Lindsay A truly unique slant to a traditional genre, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is just that–a cacophony of voices from the past, present, and maybe future–surrounding strong themes of life, death, grief, ancestry, shunning and estrangement. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|MEMOIR MONDAY Leslie Lindsay & Laraine Herring in conversation Author, lover of cats, creative writing professor, grief counselor, illustrator, book coach (focusing exclusively on women over 40), and founder of Hags on Fire, a ‘zine for women to write about aging through perimenopause, menopause, and croning, Laraine Herring is multitalented and constantly juggling. A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is her most recent memoir. ABOUT A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS: A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS (forthcoming Oct 19 2021 from Regal House Publishing), is unlike any other, inviting you to think deeply about your ancestors, loss/death, your body, and more. Like a murder of crows or an unkindness of ravens, A CONSTELLATION OF GHOSTS is just that: a boisterous and magical exchange of voices in the dark, from within and with…out. It’s a bit poetic in a sense, but …

Savannah Johnston talks about how RITES: Stories initially began as a longing for home, but also the realities of life in Oklahoma, being Indigenous, how watching TV helps with ‘episodic’ writing, more

By Leslie Lindsay In sparse, biting, yet eloquent and compressed prose, Savannah Johnston reveals the truths, sorrow, and joys of the mundane and extraordinary in this collection of stories featuring Indigenous people of Oklahoma. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|FICTION FRIDAY Leslie Lindsay & Savannah Johnston in conversation Savannah Johnston is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma living in NYC. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, HTML giant, and Gravel, among others. Rites: Stories is her debut collection of fiction, published by Jaded Ibis, a feminist press committed to sharing literature from voices of people of color, those with disabilities, and culturally marginalized voices. ABOUT RITES: Stories: Each of the stories in RITES presents a rich, complex interior life, encompassing the lives of a man newly released from prison as he attempts to reconnect with his family, a young well-endowed girl who becomes a sex worker, drunken feuds at motels, a son who must bury his father, and more. They are struggling, echoes and penumbras of society, and yet we …

Caroline Beecham talks about illegal adoptions during WWII, a distant family secret, a woman pioneer in book editing, and so much more in her American debut of WHEN WE MEET AGAIN

By Leslie Lindsay Hope, love, loss, and the power of reading, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN (Putnam/Penguin Random House, July 20 2021) is about one woman’s struggle with her career, as well as personal matters, set against the backdrop of WWII England and New York. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Caroline Beecham in conversation WHEN WE MEET AGAIN is Caroline Beecham’s American debut in historical fiction and will most certainly appeal to fans of Fiona Davis meets Christina Baker Kline with a touch of Kristin Hannah’s THE FOUR WINDS. This is an absorbing and emotional story about a mother’s love, but also secrets and redemption. ABOUT WHEN WE MEET AGAIN: London, 1943: The war has taken its toll on the book publishing industry. All the while, Alice Cotton, a young, sharp editor is on the rise. She sees books a way to cope, entertain, and distract–her hope is to get them into as many hands as possible. But she falls pregnant–a surprise–and certainly not in line with being a single, unwed woman of the day. She flees …

Michael Rose talks about his debut, THE SORTING ROOM, about delaying creativity, how business informed his writing life, why he loves historical fiction, modernity, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay An epic family saga, THE SORTING ROOM is a captivating tale of several women’s struggles, perseverance, and more set in Prohibition/Depression-era NYC. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ ALWAYS WITH A BOOK Leslie Lindsay & Michael Rose in conversation After serving in executive positions in global companies, Michael Rose retired from the corporate world. The Sorting Room is his debut fiction. He grew up on a diary farm and now resides in San Francisco. COMING SEPTEMBER 2021 ABOUT THE SORTING ROOM: It’s the beginning of The Great Depression and Eunice Ritter is a living in squalor. She and her brother, Ulrich–Uli–are not exactly close– she’s alone, living on the edges of his world of marbles and friendship. He throws a rock at her, but Eunice may actually be more industrious and skilled than Uli, and even their parents. She’s just ten years old when she gets a job at a local sweat shop–an industrial laundry–a job no one wants. In fact, Eunice was sort of ‘dared’ into the job by adult men who suggested she would become …

Shari Lapena talks about her juicy and dark new domestic suspense about a wealthy family, a murder in which the children are suspects, her writing routines, favorite dysfunctional memoirs, her old farmhouse, travel to Iceland, more

By Leslie Lindsay Everyone’s keeping secrets, everyone’s a little suspect, and even the dead know a thing or two, the sixth domestic thriller from Shari Lapena is one not to be missed. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS~ Always with a Book|Fiction Friday Leslie Lindsay & Shari Lapena in Conversation Bursting onto the domestic suspense scene in 2016, Shari Lapena is a tremendous force–a #1 internationally bestselling author–no one does claustrophobic suburban paranoia quite like Shari. I absolutely LOVE Shari Lapena’s work. This is ‘grip-lit’ at its absolute best. Lapena has a way of reeling in readers with a taut plot, plain-spoken yet intelligent (and sometimes unlikable) characters, and more.  The tension is always high, the mood is claustrophobic and yet everything is elegantly–and tortuously–done to perfection. ABOUT NOT A HAPPY FAMILY: Meet the Merton Family. They’re wealthy, successful, a bit uppity, and they’re harboring secrets and alliances. Set in upstate New York, where the homes are large and spacious, the grass is green, and yet…the parents are gruesomely murdered. It’s the last family dinner the Merton Family …