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Monday, January 30, 2006

The Lure of the Memoir

Oprah Winfrey chewed out mega-publisher Nan Talese on Thursday, but the reception in New York has been different.

When Talese walked into her office at Doubleday after flying back from Chicago, she was greeted with a standing ovation, according to the Wall Street Journal. The chairman of her company, Random House, called her up. She also received more than 500, mostly supportive, e-mails about her appearance on Oprah and the James Frey dust-up.

Is this not the case of an ostrich with its head in the sand? Why are congratulations being passed around? The publishing industry made a big mistake with James Frey’s book – and it looks like they are putting their own positive and distorted spin on the whole mess.

SPEAKING OF MEMOIRS, Edward Guthmann has an article on Kate Braverman in Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle. Braverman, one of the most iconoclastic writers of the past 20 years, has an “accidental memoir,” a linked collection of essays and recollections called Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles. It deals with Braverman’s time in Los Angeles – she grew up there and spent some of her adult years there – seen from a distance.

I’ve met Braverman a few times at a writers’ group and at every encounter I have been fascinated and entertained by the words coming out of her mouth. She is highly dramatic, but her sentences are like poetry: sharp, memorable, and compelling. Braverman will give a reading from her new book at 7 pm Thursday at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.

The San Francisco Examiner asked local writers to provide the names of their favorite authors. (via Moorish Girl)

1 comment:

Ken said...

Good article