Monday, June 21, 2010

Jennifer Gilmore

Jennifer Gilmore’s second novel, Something Red, was published by Scribner on March 30, 2010.

Her first novel, Golden Country, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2006, an Top Ten Debut Fiction of 2006, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Last week I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I am done with teaching and done with my book tour for a bit, and I'm finally able to catch up on some books I have been looking forward to cracking open. Currently, I'm reading Martha McPhee's Dear Money. This novel, deals with the conflicts that arise out of making art and also wanting things--good schools for your kids, summer houses, pretty dresses, lovely smelly cheeses--that making art does not often afford. While this subject matter appeals to me--a little too much--the narrator's voice is so assured, and her transformation so universally rendered, this novel really will appeal to anyone who has ever had to think about what commerce means. And also? I don't think women write enough about issues surrounding money, and this is a brave topic.

I am heading to the airport in less than an hour and I am very excited about what I'm carrying in my suitcase. On deck I have Hyatt Bass's The Embers, about a large, chaotic family, that just came out in paperback. Anything about families--tragic, comic, satirical, dramatic--appeals to me, so this is next. Matt Bonderant's The Wettest County in the World, an altogether different family saga that takes place in depression-era Virginia, is also in my travel bag, as well as Caroline Leavitt's Pictures of You, which comes out in September. Caroline is such a wonderful critic, and a champion of so many other writers, including me, and I can't wait to dive into her fictional world. And, as a massive David Mitchell fan, I'm also very excited to read his newest novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. After those, I'll be back to reading for class again, and back to my own research, which takes me far away from the land of other writers' novels, but might bring me back into the world of my own.
Watch the trailer for Something Red at Jennifer Gilmore's website.

--Marshal Zeringue