Thursday, January 15, 2009

Friday Find: Andrew's Book Club

(OK, so I'm a little disorganized this week--I forgive myself! You weren't meant to have the pleasure of reading this post until tomorrow (Friday), but we all make mistakes; all of our mistakes should be this "serious." Enjoy, and have a good weekend!)

Oprah's got competition! Andrew Scott is a fiction writer who thinks that short story collections deserve a lot more attention than they receive (and don't we agree?). But Andrew is doing something about it. Something good.

Here's the reasoning, in Andrew's own words:
Each month, I select two short story collections that readers and writers of short stories should support. The idea is simple. We should buy short story collections and support this important art form, especially if we’re writers and ever hope to publish our own books of short stories. But if I buy Antonya Nelson’s new collection and you buy the new Jim Shepard book of stories, and our friend Sally buys Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock (soon in paperback!) and your mom buys Cathy Day’s The Circus in Winter, then the publishing numbers are scattered all over the place.

Move over, Oprah. I’m taking over. You do a fine job. I’m glad you’re back to selecting living writers for your book club. But you haven’t chosen a book of stories, to my knowledge, so I’m asking you to step aside. I’m sure you’re relieved.

Andrew has announced the first two selections (check his site to find out what they are!), and like a nice, obedient, new club member, I've already purchased one of them (one I was definitely planning to read, but probably would have waited for the library to offer me, to be perfectly honest). I love Andrew's dedication and enthusiasm, and I really want to see where this project may go.

(By the way, I discovered Andrew's Book Club thanks to the wonderful folks at Fiction Writers Review, who are also certainly doing their share to serve the short story.)

5 comments:

deonne kahler said...

I'm predisposed to like anyone who mentions Toni Nelson's work - thanks for the tip.

Christopher Willard said...

I totally agree. I've often wished, and voiced to store owners that short story collections be somehow shelved together to make the job of us readers who love them so much easier.

I'll be watching to see your recommendations. I'm currently back reading Paley's stories, but I still think Leonard Michaels is incredible.

Erika D. said...

Hi, Christopher. Yes, I agree--I've seen bookstores shelve anthologies together, for instance--could be interesting to see that focus go to short stories. And Deonne, I'm glad you approve!

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Great idea about the short stories. I don't know WHY they're not more popular because people are busier than ever nowadays. You'd think they'd be flying off the shelves! Maybe no one can find them! I'll link up with Andrew. Anything to help because I love short stories.

By the way, check out "Later at the Bar" by Rebecca Barry. It's a novel in short stories. It's really a collection of stories that are related but I guess they figure it'll sell better if they use the word "novel." At any rate, it was excellent. You're the reviewer--give it a read--you'll say it better than I can!

Great review in this month's Writer. That's how I came here.

www.GreenerPastures--ACityGirlGoesCountry.blogspot.com

Erika D. said...

Thanks so much for the comment, Debi Kelly Van Cleave, and welcome!