Friday, July 3, 2009

July 8, 2009: Author Reading and Signing BookWoman in Austin

Bookwoman, Austin Texas
At 7 PM, Erin Pringle-Toungate will be reading from The Floating Order at Austin's Feminist Bookstore, BookWoman. 

BookWoman is located at 5501 N. Lamar Blvd. #A-105, Austin, Texas. A book signing will follow the reading.

Friday, June 26, 2009

July 4, 2009: Reading at Burro Coffee & Stone River Festival

Coffeeshop in Wimberley Texas
Erin will read from The Floating Order as part of the Stone River Festival, at Burro Coffee in Wimberley, TX. She's scheduled to read at noon.

Burro Coffee is located in the village square, near the store with the awesome animal sculptures.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 22, 2009: Erin Pringle at Cliff Bell's Monday Night Poetry and Slam Series

Cliff Bells, Detroit MichiganErin and Deidre Carmen Smith will present their writing as part of the Monday Night Poetry and Slam Series at Cliff Bell's in Detroit, MI.

Cliff Bells is located at 2030 Park Avenue

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 20, 2009: Book-signing at Read Between the Lynes Bookstore

As part of a local author day, Erin will be signing books from 1-3 PM at Read Between the Lynes Bookstore in Woodstock, IL. The bookstore is located on the square, 129 Van Buren St., Woodstock, IL

Friday, June 5, 2009

"Why Jimmy" on Audio Book Radio, June 2009

Logo Audio Book RadioAudioBook will be playing a recording of Erin reading her story "Why Jimmy" from Monday, June 8th to Monday, June 15, 2009. The first airing begins approximately 12:13 AM UK time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nothing that Meets the Eye by Patricia Highsmith

Last autumn while researching the mystery genre for a paper that ended up focusing on Patricia Cornwell's death irreverance, she bought Nothing that Meets the Eye by Patricia Highsmith. She also bought Highsmith's novel Strangers on a Train, which she enjoyed but thinks Highsmith accomplishes as much, or more, in a short story. Highsmith's plain but focused style is a similar to Carol Shields'--both authors have a similar sophisticated poignancy and a real eye for the moments inside people.

Like several good collections, she slowed herself down in finishing it so as to savor the good reading.

Although Highsmith's known for The Talented Mr. Ripley, which she has not seen or read, and known as a mystery writer, much of the stories in Nothing That Meets the Eye would qualify for either the mystery or sleuth genres, which is neither here nor there unless you picked up the book expecting more of an Edgar Allan Poe rather than an O'Henry.

The collection spans from 1938 to 1982 (on a personal note, from about the birth of Erin's mother to the birth of Erin), and the stories range in setting from Mexico to New York City to Evanston, IL. As of the time of this review, her favorite stories were "Where the Door is Always Open and the Welcome Mat is always Out" which is about an ex-taxi driver in his mid-30s who gets off the train in a small, idealistic town (the Americana pie town) and rents a room and tours the town while his perceptions change from tourist to native and the happiness he thought the town had brought him slowly decays as he becomes friends with a local girl.

Another story, "The Still Point of the Turning World" also deals with perception (though most every story does and quite well) and takes place in a small park and is told from both the point of view of a rich woman who takes her child to play there for the first time and, in her perception, an impoverished and dirty woman who also takes her child to play at the park. The ending is quite heartrending and perfect. "The Pianos of the Steinachs" is quite fine, too, perhaps simply because of the way Highsmith conveys the experience of playing and hearing piano music.
Several years after reading the book, she still thinks of the stories, one very sweet one about a man who answers people's ads for their lost parakeets and another fun one about a single woman in the city who is getting her apartment together for her sister to visit, and another about a woman the last few days of her life.  It is a book to return to, in mind or on the shelf where it awaits.  Highsmith is definitely a master fiction writer--up there with Flannery O'Connor.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interbirth Books Releases INTER 01

Cover of INTER 01 by Interbirth Books
Her stories "Rabbits" and "The Boy Who Walks Across Fields" are available in Interbirth Books' annual collection of art, INTER 01. The anthology is hand-sewn on high-quality pages and quite lovely to behold.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Not Normal Anthology: Unconventional Fiction from the Heartland

You can now pre-order the Not Normal Anthology published by Indiana University Press.

My story "Wednesday Night Reflections, Edited Thursday" is in it, and you'll find stories by Coover, Saunders, Martone, Erdrich, and more.

~ ~ ~
Update (9/11/09): Not Normal, IL now available for purchase

Saturday, January 24, 2009

From The Child's Shelf: Review of We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL Words and Paintings by Kadir Nelson Foreword by Hank Aaron
She began reading We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball in the children's section at the public library but wasn't finished when the husband was ready to go, so she checked it out and finished it that night. 

We Are the Ship by Kadir Nelson is a really wonderful book not simply because of its historical importance in shaping national identity; though, certainly, this is important, as the book fills the gap in baseball history and, thus, the present.  

The story is told by the collective "we" which highlights the storyteller and makes the reader have a more auditory experience; this also serves to highlight that the present collective understanding of baseball is a skewed one and favors a caucasian cast.  As a reader, or listener, the collective we causes the story to embrace and make the reader feel the importance of the story, if not simply because the story says to the reader that he or she is part of the we.  It feels as like one is sitting by a grandfather's chair, learning a story to pass on.

Additionally, the illustrations--the paintings--are really lovely: rich and vivid and reminiscent of many of the industrial/social-realist WPA murals, which is fitting in reinforcing the story's voice due to its collective nature and the time-setting.  

In terms of reading-level, this would be appropriate for an intermediate reader (grades 3-5), as the text is usually on its own page and is dense. However, the story would work well as a read-aloud book; certainly the formatting (text on one side, images on the other) suggests a read-aloud intention, and the story and images are so well done that it would work well long before the child reader is advanced enough to read alone. 

It was published last January (2008), so she does hope that the Caldecott Committee is considering it for the medal. [Update: the book did not win the Caldecott, but did win the Sibert Medal]

Awards the book has won as of January 2009:
  • New York Times Best Seller
  • New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books Award Winner
  • School Library Journal 2008 Best Book Selection
  • Select Title for 2009/10 Texas Bluebonnet Master List
  • 2009 Horn Book Fanfare Title
  • Selected for NPL 2008 list of 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Selected Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Books 2008 Title
View more art and work by Kadir Nelson

Also, We Are the Ship is a travelling exhibit, so check to see if the original paintings are at a museum near you.
We are the Ship, Hardcover, Hyperion Books Ch, 2008. 96 pages/purchase at the Ma&Pa bookstore closest to you