Sunday, August 17, 2008

Christie Hodgen

Christie Hodgen is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of the novel Hello, I Must Be Going. She won the 2001 AWP award for A Jeweler's Eye for Flaw and the 2003 Pushcart Prize.

Last week I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
This summer I'm making my way through Céline's companion masterpieces - Journey to the End of Night and Death on the Installment Plan, and doing my best to put Céline's art aside from his later politics. Really, for style and humor, they can't be beat.

I've also just finished making my way through B.S. Johnson's The Unfortunates, a book which comes in a box with each of its chapters separately bound, to be read in any order.

And I re-read an old favorite, W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants.

For short fiction I've been reading Roberto Bolano's Last Evenings on Earth, Deb Olin Unferth's Minor Robberies, Ander Monson's Other Electricities, Julie Orringer's How to Breathe Underwater, and Robert Walser's Collected Short Prose - the work of a tortured, beautiful mind. All very rewarding.
Among the praise for Hodgen's Hello, I Must Be Going:
"The work of a wildly talented writer. Christie Hodgen's kid-narrator, Frankie, faces tragic loss in a world where everyone is earnestly, hilariously, flamboyantly making a mess of trying for better days. Every intense, vibrant detail in this novel feels exactly right."
—Joan Silber

"Dark and witty, Christie Hodgen's prose is exhilarating to read."
—Marly Swick

"Wise and often funny....Frankie's vulnerability and resilience make this a moving novel."
Publishers Weekly

"Hodgen's writing soars in this sad and funny novel."
—Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle
Learn more about Hello, I Must Be Going at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue