Friday, April 27, 2007

Between Hope and Suspicion: a Translation From Rilke's Novel

This passage comes from Rilke's marvelously singular interpretation of the biblical story of the Lost Son (aka "Prodigal Son") at the end of Malte. My novel's title alludes to Rilke's haunting version of the old tale.

"And the house did the rest. One had merely to enter into its full smell. Already most decisions had been made. Some little thing or other might still be altered; on the whole, though, one was already that which the people here held one to be -- the one for whom they had long ago confabulated a life, from his small past and their own wishes; one who was but a confection of their spliced selves, who stood day and night under the suggestion of their love, between their hope and their suspicion, before their reproach or applause.

"So no use climbing the stairs with whatever unspeakable caution. They are all in the living room, and the door need only be nudged for their glances to find him. He stays in the dark, he will await their questions. But then comes the worst. They take him by the hands, they drag him to the table, and all of them, as many as there are, stretch themselves inquisitively before the lamp. They have it good that way, they keep themselves in the darkness, and on him alone falls, with the light, all the shame at having a face."

Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge (1910)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Keep Small Media in the Mail

The top folks at the U.S. Postal Service have welcomed a rather insidious proposal from one of America's top media conglomerates, Time Warner, which would saddle small publishers with substantially increased postal rates even while securing rate breaks for large media. Clearly, for the sake of free and varied information in this country, we cannot allow such inequable rate hikes to take effect. Visit the Stamp Out the Rate Hikes website to learn more and sign a petition. Congress needs to hear from you before April 25.

Monday, April 16, 2007

2007 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction

Congratulations, Mr. McCarthy. You've deserved this forever. We younger writers are filled with gratitude that you've kept the work coming. We look forward to still more.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

LOST SON Events in California, Oregon, Washington

Here's the event schedule for Lost Son, subject to additions and expansions in the coming weeks. Please check back for updates (a permanent link, "Upcoming Readings & Signings," will be found at the upper right).

Thursday, May 31, 2007—Portland, OR
7:30 p.m. reading/talk/q&A & signing
Annie Bloom’s Books
7834 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219
(503) 246-0053

Monday, June 4, 2007—Danville, CA
7:00 p.m. reading/talk & signing
Rakestraw Books
409 Railroad Avenue
Danville, CA 94526
(925) 837-7337

Tuesday, June 5, 2007—Clayton, CA
7:00 pm reading/talk (with a Rilke emphasis) & signing
Clayton Books
5433 Clayton Road, Suite D
Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 673-3325

June 5-9, 2007—San Francisco, CA
Drop-in stock signing
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 324-4321

Thursday, June 7, 2007—Orinda, CA
4:00 p.m., reading/talk & q&a
Orinda Books
276 Village Square
Orinda, CA 94563
(925) 254-7606

Sunday, June 10, 2007—San Jose, CA
Book Group Expo
*At 11:30am, Cunningham will participate in a literary salon, "Unfinished Business: the Secrets that Haunt Us" with authors Nathan Englander, Michelin Marcom, Elizabeth Rosner, and host Michael Krasny.
Cunningham will sign books, and will be hanging about the expo for a bit.

Sunday, June 10—2007—Capitola, CA
7:30 pm reading*
Capitola Book Café
1475 41st Ave
Capitola CA 95010
Store: 831.462.4415
*this is a triple-author reading, also featuring:
Tess Uriza Holthe, author The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes & When Elephants Dance;
and Ann Cummins, author of Yellow Cake & Red Ant House

Monday, June 11, 2007—Corte Madera, CA
1:00 p.m. reading/signing
Book Passage Bookstore
51 Tamal Vista Blvd.
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 927-0960 / (800) 999-7909

Tuesday, June 12, 2007--Redding, CA
6:30 p.m. reading/signing
Redding Record Searchlight Bookclub Event
Holiday Inn
1900 Hilltop Dr.
Redding, CA

Thursday, June 14, 2007—Portland, OR
7:30 p.m. reading/signing
23rd Avenue Books
1015 NW 23rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 224-5097

Monday, June 18, 2007—Portland, OR
7:30pm reading/talk/q&a & book signing
Powell’s on Hawthorne
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR
(503) 228-4651

Tuesday, July 3, 2007—St. Helens, OR
7:00 p.m. book group discussion regarding The Green Age of Asher Witherow
& Reading/talk regarding LOST SON
St. Helens Book Shop
58527 Columbia River Hwy
St. Helens, OR 97051
(503) 397-4917

Saturday, July 21, 2007—Sisters, OR
6:30 p.m. talk & signing
Paulina Springs Bookstore
252 W Hood Ave
Sisters OR 9775
(541) 549-0866

Tuesday, July 24, 2007—Seattle, WA
7:30 p.m. Reading/talk/q&a &signing
Elliott Bay Book Company
101 South Main St.
Seattle, Washington 98104
(206) 624-6600 / (800) 962-5311

Thursday, July 26, 2007—Seattle, WA
7:00 p.m. Reading/talk/q&a & signing
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA (800) 335-READ

Saturday, April 07, 2007

National Poetry Month is Here

April is National Poetry Month! Visit the Academy of American Poets to discover thirty ways you can celebrate.

And while you're there, take a look at Rainer Maria Rilke's page, complete with bio, Rilkean links, and translations by Stephen Mitchell.