Monday, September 08, 2008

Bay Area Literary News

Kathryn Ma, a San Francisco writer, has won the David Nathan Meyerson Fiction prize from the Southwest Review for a short story called “All that Work and Still No Boys.”

The prize adds to Ma’s long list of achievements. Her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices and she was a finalist for the Bakeless Prize and the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel.

Jim Shepard, the novelist and short story writer served as judge. This was what he said about Ma’s story:

"Kathryn Ma's 'All That Work and Still No Boys,' with the kind of brisk and wry dispatch that its protagonist would recognize, negotiates the minor and major agonies of a family crisis, as well as the subterranean stresses of the inevitably accompanying family history, with an enviable grace and a loving but clear-eyed even-handedness. The characters and relationships are beautifully observed, and rendered with a clarity and a compassionate insight that honors both their pain and their ongoing attempts, however imperfect, to pitch in on one another's behalf."

Joe Quirk is one of the funniest Bay Area writers – and he doesn’t write comedy. He writes about biology. I first saw him in 2007 at the Carmel Author and Ideas Festival. He talked on the stage for 15 minutes about reproduction and kept the audience rapt – and laughing – the entire time. Quirk has a new book out, It’s Not You, It’s Biology: The Science of Love, Sex, and Relationships, and he is making the rounds of Bay Area bookstores. He will be appearing Monday, Sept. 8 at Books, Inc on Park Boulevard in Alameda.

The LA Times has a long feature about Amy Tan's Bonesetter's Daughter and its journey to becoming an opera.

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